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Smoking Fire Safety – Put it out, right out

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is reminding residents who smoke to put it out, right out.

Smokers are being reminded that careless disposal of cigarettes is the single biggest killer in house fires. Habits such as smoking whilst drinking alcohol in the home or in bed are responsible for one in three of all accidental house fires resulting in deaths.

Station Manager, Luke Coleman, said: “Without an early alarm system in place, you could lose valuable time to escape in a fire. Just two to three breaths of toxic smoke can render a person unconscious. As well as health dangers, people need to be aware of the deadly risks of smoking in the home and how smoking materials can very quickly and easily lead to a fire.  When extinguishing cigarettes, smokers must make sure they ‘put it out, right out’ and if possible, refrain from smoking in the home at all.

“If you are going to smoke in the home, then make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home, as they can provide you with a vital early warning sign and allow you time to escape in a fire. You should test your alarm every week to make sure it’s working. If you’re not able to test it yourself then get a friend, neighbour or relative to test it for you. It’s easy enough to make it a part of your weekly routine and it’s a habit that could save your life.”

If you or someone in your home smokes, you can take the following simple steps to prevent a fire from happening in your home:

  • Use a proper ashtray – never a wastepaper basket.
  • Make sure your ashtray can’t tip over and is made of a material that won’t burn.
  • Take extra care if you smoke when you’re tired, taking medication, or if you’ve been drinking.
  • Consider buying child-resistant lighters and matchboxes.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Don’t leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended. They can easily start a fire.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach.

At RBFRS, we offer a free Safe and Well visit service to eligible residents that provide practical advice and resources to help keep people safe from fire and other potential risks in their home. If you or someone you know would benefit from a visit, please visit our website.