For the past few days, many areas across Ontario have been facing a significant air quality issue due to high pollution levels caused by wildfires in Quebec and other parts of Ontario. This prolonged smoky condition is unprecedented, and climate and environment experts predict that such occurrences may become more frequent in the future.
As condo managers and directors, it is crucial to be proactive and suggest appropriate steps to mitigate the impact of poor air quality on residents and the overall condo environment. Here’s some guidance on steps that condo community leaders can take to assist in ensuring the well-being of their residents.
Understanding the Air Quality Situation:
According to Environment Canada, the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) scale in Toronto is currently indicating a moderate risk, while Ottawa is indicating a high risk. Those that would like to monitor the situation in real time, and/or for their particular area, may do so by clicking here.
Who’s at a higher risk?
While outdoor activities may continue for most people, those experiencing symptoms (such as coughing or throat irritation) should consider rescheduling or reducing strenuous activities.
It's important to note that specific groups, including seniors, infants, children, pregnant individuals, outdoor workers, and people with chronic health conditions, are more vulnerable and should take extra precautions.
What can we do?
Below are some recommendations for Condo Managers and Directors to consider sharing with their condo communities, and for residents to consider using:
Communication and Awareness: Keep residents informed about the current air quality situation and its potential health implications. Provide regular updates through condo newsletters, bulletin boards, or online communication channels.
Indoor Air Quality Measures: Emphasize the importance of maintaining good indoor air quality within the condos. Consider advising residents to keep windows and doors closed, especially during periods of high pollution. Ensure that the ventilation system is equipped with high-quality air filters to minimize the entry of outdoor pollutants.
Common Area Precautions: Encourage residents to avoid using common areas that are directly exposed to outdoor air (such as rooftop terraces or balconies) during times of poor air quality. Consider temporarily closing or restricting access to such areas until the air quality improves.
Collaboration with Vendors: Engage with vendors who can provide services related to indoor air quality, such as HVAC maintenance and air filter replacements. Ensure that these vendors follow best practices to optimize air filtration within the condos.
Promote Personal Protection: Advise residents to take precautions when going outdoors, such as wearing N95 masks (as recommended by Environment Canada). Share resources and information about protecting oneself from smoke exposure and the proper use of masks.
Property managers have a responsibility to prioritize the health and well-being of their residents, and the current air quality challenges in Toronto necessitate proactive measures to minimize the impact of poor air conditions on the condo environment. By considering and implementing the suggested steps and collaborating with residents, vendors, and relevant stakeholders, we can create a safer and healthier living environment for residents within our collective condo communities.
Let's work together to navigate these new challenges and prioritize well-being for all those residing and working within our condo corporations.
P.S. Want to stay in the loop with more helpful suggestions on how to keep our condo communities safe? Register now with Stratastic - we’ve got it covered!
Tags: Air quality challenges, Ontario air pollution, Condo management, Indoor air quality, Health implications, Communication strategies, Awareness campaigns, Ventilation systems, Air filter replacements, Common area precautions, HVAC maintenance, N95 masks, Smoke exposure protection, Proper mask usage, Property management responsibilities, Well-being of residents, Collaborative approach, Safer living environment, Condo community safety