More people die in fires caused by smoking than in fires caused by anything else.
The Fire and Rescue Services recently reported they attended a fire incident in a residential building, which damaged part of a ground floor flat.
The fire is believed to have been caused by unsafe smoking practice. The resident fell asleep while smoking on a sofa and the lit cigarette fell in between the cushions and set it alight. The resident was alerted by the heat and thankfully was able to safely evacuate, but did suffer minor burns to the arm and thigh.
Tobacco is manufactured to stay alight, meaning it can remain smouldering and start a fire. Here are some safety tips if you smoke:
- It’s safer to smoke outside, but make sure cigarettes are extinguished and disposed of safely, particularly if smoking on balconies
- Never smoke in bed
- Don’t smoke in an armchair or sofa if you think you may fall asleep
- Take extra care when you’re tired, taking prescription drugs or if you’ve been drinking alcohol
- Use ashtrays that can’t tip over and stub cigarettes out safely
- Never balance cigars or cigarettes on the edge of an ashtray or anything else as they can fall and cause a fire
- Don’t leave lit pipes or cigarettes unattended
- Empty ashtrays carefully
- Make sure smoking materials are safely put out, cold, and preferably wet them before throwing into an indoor bin
- Don’t smoke counterfeit cigarettes as they can cause fires due to the way they are made
- Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach and buy child-resistant lighters
If you’re considering quitting smoking, the NHS website provides lots of useful advice and resources to help you on your journey.