Bay Area Air Quality Management District offers tips to stay safe amid smoky air conditions

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Even people who don't live near one of the huge complex fires raging across the Bay Area are feeling its effects.

RELATED: Bay Area air quality worst in the world as wildfires rage in all but one county

The flames from the LNU, SCU and CZU fires are generating huge amounts of smoke - making life dangerous for people with respiratory problems.

"The first and best defense to protect your health is to remain indoors with windows and doors sealed," said Erin Demerritt, spokesperson for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. "The smoke is all around us right now and we're seeing unhealthy to even hazardous levels in some areas of the Bay Area -- specifically the Livermore Valley and the East Bay."

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That's why staying inside is the best and cheapest course of action. But, if you can afford it, there are other protective steps one can take - like making a clean air room

"We recommend purchasing a HEPA air purifier that is non-ozone producing, and we also recommend purchasing a MERV 13 or greater air filter to use for your HVAC system," Demerritt said.

There is a step between just staying indoors and shelling out cash for a an air purifier. It involves a little money and a moderate amount of elbow grease.

"We recommend weatherizing your home in advance of wildfire season by sealing off doors and windows and using caulking to make sure that there are no spots where air can leak in."

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