What’s The Best Respirator For Smoke?

If you’re a resident of Southern California, then chances are you’ve experienced, or at least heard about, wildfires. To protect yourself, your coworkers, and friends from inhaling this dangerous smoke, it’s best to know what type of respirator mask to wear.

There are a few different respirator masks to choose from, but the N95 protects against smoke the best.

The “N” has 2 meanings: first, it means that these masks are “Not Oil Resistant.” This means that this mask will not protect against oily-based substances that may splash on to one’s face. Second, the “N” assures that the mask has been approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The “95” means it can block at least 95% of very small particles.  

Other Respirators To Consider: N99, N100, & P100

While the N95 is sufficient in most scenarios, part of its popularity stems from the fact that it’s more affordable than other options. Here are the other options…

N99 & N100

Similar to the N95, N99 and N100 means that they filter out higher percentages (99% and 100% respectively) of particles


Where the “N” in the former stands for “not oil resistant,” the “P” stands for “Oil Proof.”

For an overview of some of the most common respirators, watch the video below

Respirators to Avoid

Remember to avoid respirators that do not bear the NIOSH badge on the side.

The Importance of Respirator Fit Testing

Whether you’re by yourself or in a group, it’s important to make sure that you respirator mask fits properly. NIOSH recommends a full seal between the mask and your face, so if you have facial hair, then trim it. 

Need Professional Respirator Fit Testing? Call SoCal First Aid

We at SoCal First Aid provide professional respirator fit testing services to schools, businesses, and factories throughout Southern California. If you’re serious about lung safety, then contact us today!

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