​​​​​Bushfire smoke contains fine particles that can irritate your eyes, nose, throat and lungs. It is important that you take steps to reduce your time in smoky air.

Some people are more sensitive to bushfire smoke and should take extra precautions to protect their health.

If it is smoky and you live in an area where a bushfire is possible, check and follow any emergency warnings associated with threats from bushfires. Visit NSW Rural Fire Service - Fires Near Me to check for active warnings in your area.

Steps you can take to be protected from bushfire smoke


Follow your doctor’s advice about how to stay safe if you are more sensitive to smoke. Actively monitor for symptoms and follow your health action plan (for example an Asthma Action Plan), if you have one. Keep your medication close by.


Spend more time indoors and avoid outdoor activity as much as possible.


Keep the air inside your home as clean as possible.

To do this:

  • close windows and doors and open them when air quality improves
  • switch your air conditioner to recirculate if it has this function
  • do not use evaporative coolers because they bring outdoor air inside
  • avoid indoor sources of air pollution like cigarettes, vapes, candles and incense sticks
  • consider using an air purifier with a high efficiency particle air (HEPA) filter to remove smoke from your indoor air. To work well, the purifier must be used in small, well-sealed areas. Humidifiers, negative ion generators and odour absorbers do not remove fine particles in bushfire smoke.

Spend time in air-conditioned venues like cinemas, libraries and shopping centres.


Consider using a P2/N95 mask to protect you from bushfire smoke if you are unable to avoid exposure. P2/N95 masks must fit properly​ with an air-tight seal to work well. Surgical and cloth masks do not protect you from smoke. Learn if a mask is right for you and how to fit your mask.

Call Triple Zero 000  if you or anyone in your care is experiencing a medical emergency, such as trouble breathing or chest pain or tightness.

Watch the video for tips on staying protected from smoke

Current as at: Tuesday 16 January 2024
Contact page owner: Environmental Health