The 2018 California Fires' Impact on Building Health

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December 4, 2018

The recent California fires created a statewide impact that stretched well beyond it's flames. When disasters like fires spread smoke to cities miles away, we typically trust the indoors (such as our homes and workplaces) as a safe haven. Unfortunately, fine particles, smoke and chemicals from the fires easily penetrated businesses and homes across the state. Across California business and homes, Awair sensors saw an over 1800% increase in harmful fine dust (PM2.5)

California Indoor Fine Dust Levels (PM2.5)

How did this happen?

How can you keep your building healthy?

Many of our partners are utilizing their air quality data from Awair to develop policies for events like these moving forward:

Our mission is to empower you with the tools you need to keep your employees and projects safe and healthy. Learn more about Awair for business by clicking the link below.


  • For many businesses, indoor air quality degradation was the worst during the transient hours (morning, lunch, and early evening). Employees entering the building exposed its indoor air to the outdoor pollution, notably impacting the air throughout the day.
  • “Is my filtration system effective?” In some cases, the answer was “no,” especially for the level of smoke the common filtration system is able to handle.
  • Certain areas (such as lobbies, atriums, etc.) were impacted worse than others. Unfortunately, the polluted air can spread throughout the rest of the building relatively quickly.