How To Prevent Bushfire Related Health Issues

Article heading image for How To Prevent Bushfire Related Health Issues

QHEALTH has released a number of health factsheets in response to the bushfires raging throughout Queensland. They include advice and facts relating to health protection during and after a fire attack.

We've compiled some of the key points below so you can learn how to make sure that you and your loved ones avoid health issues relating to the bushfires.

Bushfire Smoke


Bushfire smoke can reduce air quality in rural and urban areas and may affect people’s health, as smaller smoke particles can be breathed into the lungs and cause health issues.

So how can you protect yourself from the effects of bushfire smoke?

  • Avoid physical activity outdoors
  • Close windows when indoors
  • If you operate an air conditioning during smoky conditions, switch it to 'recycle' or 'recirculate' to reduce smoke coming inside
  • During extended or extreme smoky conditions, move away from the effected area (stay with a friend / relative, or head to a public service area for assistance)

If smoky conditions have passed, but your home still smells of smoke, your should ventilate the area (open doors and windows, wash surfaces), and air out soft furnishings and clothing.

Power Outages


If a power outage has occurred, you can use a portable generator as a source of fuel or electricity. Be sure to follow supplied directions carefully to ensure safe use. Do not use a portable generator, or any appliances designed for outdoor use, indoors. 

Roof-Harvested Rainwater 


Many Queenslanders rely on roof-harvested rainwater as their sole supply of drinking water. If this is you, consider sealing the openings to water tanks in order to prevent bushfire debris entering and impairing the quality of the water stored inside.

Returning Home Safely After A Fire

If you're returning home after a fire, be aware that structures burnt in a bushfire can leave potential health hazards, including fallen / sharp objects, smouldering coals, damaged electrical wires, leaking gas, weakened walls, and more. 

Protect yourself by wearing protective clothing and footwear, and even a face mask if necessary. 

This article is based off information provided by QHEALTH. 

30 November 2018

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