Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking people to consider the fire risks associated with smoking and how they can help reduce them as part of a month-long campaign led by the National Fire Chiefs Council.
Without a doubt, quitting is the best way to remove the fire risk. There are a number of organisations that can support residents in giving up smoking, including services provided by the NHS. However, if smoking, residents should consider the fire risks associated with it and can take some simple steps to reduce the chances of having a fire.
These simple steps can help prevent a cigarette fire in the home:
- Never smoke in bed. 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 could be less able to escape.
- Put it out, right out! Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished.
- Fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.
- 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. Never use a wastepaper bin.
- Make an attempt to quit using NHS support if you need it.
Paul Scott, Prevention Manager, said: “Fires ignited by smoking products result in more fatalities than any other fire. These fires are the biggest cause of accidental fires in homes across the country.
“Every smoker should be mindful of the risks they take every time they light up and try to break habits such as smoking indoors, especially in bed, or under the influence of alcohol.
“Having a working smoke alarm on every level of your home and testing them at least monthly is one simple way you can ensure that you’re alerted to a fire in the home, which can vital time to escape if a fire does break out.”