Protect yourself from smoke

Bushfires can contribute a large load of air pollutants to Brisbane’s airshed. Planned burning is important to manage the threat of bushfires to safety and air quality. Brisbane City Council uses weather and air quality forecasts to determine the best day for each planned burn and to minimise the smoke impacts. Residents near burn areas are notified by mail in advance of the planned burn.

Smoke contains particles that can present a higher health risk to young children, the elderly and people with an existing respiratory or heart condition.

Tips for protecting yourself and your family:

  • keep up to date with bushfire alerts and Council information on planned burning activities
  • if you have a chronic medical condition, ask your doctor about how you can help control your symptoms when air quality is poor
  • be prepared with enough medication in the house to last you for several days
  • if you experience trouble breathing or chest pain, seek medical advice immediately
  • avoid physical activity and stay indoors
  • keep indoor air as clean as possible by:
    • keeping windows and doors closed and use draught excluders
    • turning on your air-conditioner to 're-circulate'
    • using a clean filter for the air-conditioner and have some spare filters ready
    • using a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to help reduce fine particles in the home. Investigate in advance if one can be fitted to your air-conditioner
    • avoiding activities which increase indoor air pollution such as smoking, burning candles, frying food or vacuuming
    • if it is too warm in your home with the doors and windows shut, or if smoke is still leaking into the house, at risk people should arrange for shelter in another location
    • be aware of heat stress which is a health risk, especially for older adults and people who are unwell
    • note that paper dust masks sold at hardware stores will not protect you from smoke inhalation
    • when the smoke has cleared, open up the house fully to clear the air. Clean any dusty surfaces with a damp cloth to avoid re-suspending the dust into the air.
Last updated:22 April 2020