Smoking Safety – More people die in fires caused by smoking than in fires caused by anything else. Tobacco is manufactured to stay alight, meaning it can remain smouldering and start a fire. Smokers are being reminded today that careless disposal of cigarettes is the single biggest killer in house fires. Habits such as smoking whilst drinking alcohol in the home or lighting up in bed are responsible for one in three (36 per cent) of all accidental house fires resulting in deaths. With a steady decline in the number of smokers in England, the overall number of fires triggered by cigarettes is small, but with over a third of all fire deaths in the country attributed to cigarettes the proportion of fatalities is staggering.
Safety tips if you smoke
- never smoke in bed – it’s very easy to fall asleep and allow your cigarette to set light to your bedclothes or furnishings
- don’t smoke if you’re drowsy – especially if you’re sitting in a comfortable chair or if you’ve been drinking or taking prescription drugs; again, it’s easy to fall asleep
- don’t leave a lit cigarette (or cigar or pipe) – they can easily overbalance and land on the carpet or other flammable material; and make sure your ashtray is heavy and can’t tip easily
- make totally sure that your butts (and any remains in your pipe bowl) aren’t still smouldering when you’ve finished with them; wet them and empty your ashtray into a metal bin outside the house
- keep lighters, matches and smoking materials out of the reach of children – you can also buy child-resistant lighters and containers for matches