Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is reminding residents, as part of a month-long Fire Kills campaign, to put it out, right out if they smoke.
Fires caused by smoking products kill more people than fires caused by any other item, but there are simple steps that residents can take to reduce the chances of smoking leading to a fire, including not smoking while tired, using a proper and secure ashtray and stubbing out cigarettes properly. All of these steps can greatly reduce the risk of an accidental fire breaking out.
To help residents keep safe, Charlotte Lee, East Hub Prevention Manager, is reminding smokers to “put it out, right out. Fires ignited by cigarettes or other smoking materials sadly result in more fatalities than any other fire. Despite a fall in the overall number of fires caused by smoking, it’s still one of the biggest causes of accidental fires in the home across the country.
“If you or someone in your home smokes, you should ensure that you or your loved one never smokes in bed or when tired. If you need to lie down, don’t light up. You could doze off and set your bed on fire.”
Follow these simple steps to help prevent a cigarette fire in the home:
- Never smoke in bed and take care when you’re tired – it’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and set furniture alight.
- Never smoke when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If your lit cigarette starts a fire, you might be less able to escape.
- Put it out, right out, and make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished.
- Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended – they can easily overbalance as they burn down.
- Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn.
- Be careful if you use both paraffin and non-paraffin emollient creams, as the residue can lead to them soaking into your clothing, bedding and bandages/dressings. This residue then dries within the fabric. If you then introduce an ignition or heat source such as accidentally dropping a cigarette, lighted match or lighter, it can have fatal consequences.
- Fit a smoke alarm and test it at least weekly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out.
For more advice, visit the Smoking safety page on our website.