Bonfire season is almost upon us. Aside from the obvious hazard of sustaining burns, it is important to keep in mind the dangers that smoke and heat pose to our lungs.
Inhaling air that is consistently at a higher temperature than the surrounding air can cause more damage to the lining of your lower respiratory tract than smoke inhalation
Here are a few important tips to keep in mind:
1. Choose a day where the wind is calm (blowing at < 20 miles per hour).
2. Teach and instruct kids on proper fire safety protocol.
3. Don't use gasoline to start your fire. Not only will this create a fire that is difficult to control, it will also unleash toxins into the air.
4. Keep water nearby in the event that flames go out of control.
5. Build the fire in an open space, away from trees, fences, etc.
6. For more tips on building a bonfire, visit this site.
Note: If you have a pre-existing respiratory disease, extra caution is necessary. The Cleveland Clinic advises that you sit a safe distance from the fire and be mindful of which way the wind is blowing so you can position yourself away from its force.