Canterbury DHB’s Community and Public Health unit has issued a public health warning for smoke from the fire located in Racecourse Road near Amberley.
Air around this location is smoky and there is potential that people who are sensitive to smoke – such as those with heart or lung conditions, pregnant women, young children and the elderly – may experience symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath or eye, nose and throat irritation.
Tyre Fire – Sulphur Dioxide
The main contaminant from fires involving tyres is sulphur dioxide which can cause respiratory problems such as bronchitis, and can irritate your nose, throat and lungs. It may cause coughing, wheezing, phlegm and asthma attacks. The effects are worse when you are exercising. Sulphur dioxide has been linked to cardiovascular disease.
Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink says exposure to smoke can worsen pre-existing health conditions such as asthma and heart disease.
“People affected by the smoke should close windows and doors, and reduce outdoor exercise.
“Anyone experiencing health issues from the Racecourse Road fire should phone their usual general practice team in the first instance,” Dr Pink says.
After hours you can call your usual practice number 24/7 and follow the instructions to be put through to an nurse for free health advice.
What to do when it’s smoky outside
If you see or smell smoke outside, you should stay inside if it’s safe to do so.
- Keep your windows and doors shut
- Switch your air conditioning to ‘recirculate’
- Air out your house when the smoke clears
- Look out for children, older people, and others at risk
- Keep pets inside with clean water and food. Keep pets’ bedding inside if possible.