Smokers urged to ‘put it out, right out’ to reduce fire risk

CigarettesAvon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is urging smokers to make sure they extinguish their smoking materials fully after use.

More people die in house fires caused by cigarettes and smoking products than any other cause.

Between April 2013 and March 2014 AF&RS attended 27 fires where smoking products were found to be the cause.

AF&RS Station Manager, Martyn Bolt, said: “All too often we see first-hand the devastating consequences of fires in the home. Not only do they destroy belongings, they also endanger lives.

“We hear a lot about how smoking causes health-related problems, but smokers may not be aware that if they don’t extinguish their cigarettes properly they could be at risk of a fire starting in their home.

“A cigarette can smoulder away for a number of hours so we would advise all smokers to make sure their homes have working smoke alarms. The detectors will activate at the first sign of a fire giving occupants vital extra minutes to escape, especially at night.

“If you have an elderly relative who smokes, make sure they have working smoke alarms fitted in their home and check they are taking steps to reduce the risk of fires caused by cigarettes.

“There are many other ways in which smokers can reduce the risk of a fire in their home. We would ask them to think about going outside when smoking, as this takes the risk of fire away from their home, and always make sure cigarettes are put out, right out.”

Safety advice for smokers

  • Never leave cigarettes or other smoking materials unattended.
  • Always stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully. Put it out, right out.
  • 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 tired, taking prescription drugs or if you have been drinking alcohol. You could fall asleep and start a fire in your bed or on your sofa.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach.
  • Consider buying child resistant lighters and match boxes.

 Visit the smoking advice pages of our website here