The large fires in Dervenochoria, Loutraki, Keratea and Saronida have created a suffocating atmosphere in the specific areas where the taking of protective measures by all citizens is imperative, as well as the use of a medical mask.

The smoke caused by fires in forests or in residential areas is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burnt trees and plants, buildings, construction materials, plastics and other elements, therefore it is necessary to follow the instructions of the competent authorities.

How to protect ourselves from dangerous particles – Useful advice the Ministry of Health and the Medical Association of Athens

Staying indoors: In the event that residential areas are located near a forest fire and are affected by smoke, it is recommended to reduce unnecessary movements and stay in closed spaces without direct communication with the outside air (closing windows, doors and other air passages to the interior).

Ensuring the cooling of the interior spaces of the houses – Be careful with the air conditioner

If the residences have an air conditioning system, it is recommended to use it in the indoor air recirculation mode, in order to minimize the burden on the air quality in the indoor spaces.

The “fresh air” intake option provided by some air conditioning systems must be turned off during a fire to prevent smoke from entering the outside environment.

Movement Restriction: Unnecessary movements should be avoided. However, in the case of using the car, it is recommended to set the vehicle’s air conditioning system to the internal air recirculation mode, in order to minimize the entry of smoke into the passenger cabin.

Reducing sources of indoor air pollution within the home: During a fire, smoking indoors, cooking using a grill, using a fireplace for grilling/cooking, using aerosols (insecticides, air fresheners, hair spray) and any other source that may aggravate the fire should be avoided indoor air quality.

Use of Personal Protection Measures (PPE) from smoke: Some people belonging to sensitive groups may be required to use masks to protect themselves from smoke and fumes. In this case, the mask filter must be certified to retain A.S.2.5 and ensure that the mask fits the person’s mouth and nose well.

In the event that a person or their loved ones experience any symptoms due to the smoke or fire conditions (indicative examples include shortness of breath, confusion, convulsions, cardiorespiratory problems, loss of consciousness) medical assistance must be sought immediately.

What do we do after the big fire?

Smoke can remain in the atmosphere for several days after a fire, so we continue to be informed about the air quality in the area where we live or where we live.

We are not returning home until it is declared safe to do so.

Regardless of whether we are a healthy organism, we monitor our health status for any symptoms. We contact our doctor if we have difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, persistent cough or other symptoms that do not go away. In this case we call 166 or go immediately to an Emergency Department for medical conditions.

We take special measures to protect children from smoke caused by fires. Children with asthma, allergies or chronic health problems may have more difficulty breathing when there is smoke from fires.