Be safe with the cigarettes at home this no smoking day

Smokers will no doubt hear many messages about the dangers of smoking to their health during this year’s No Smoking Day (Wednesday 10 March).

But Avon Fire & Rescue Service wants local people to consider the less obvious dangers to their health.

According to government statistics, people who smoke are at greater risk of dying from a fire in their home than those who don’t.

Many of these deaths could have been avoided if a few simple safety steps were taken, said Station Manager Steve Bagg, Deputy Head of Community Safety.

He added: “Since January we have attended on average around three house fires a month started by cigarettes and smoking materials.

“That might not sound like a lot, but these are fires that could have been avoided.

“So, the simple answer is not to smoke in the house, or not to smoke at all. But if you are going to smoke indoors, please do it safely.”

Smokers can reduce their risk of house fires by following these simple tips:

  • Don’t smoke in bed.
  • Take extra care if you’re feeling tired, have been drinking or are taking prescription drugs. Many fires are started by people who have fallen asleep and not realised that a cigarette is still burning.
  • Use a deep, heavy ashtray, made from a non-flammable material. And never tap your ash into a wastepaper basket.
  • Don’t leave a cigarette, cigar or pipe lying around. They can easily overbalance as they burn down and can start a fire by landing on carpet or a newspaper.
  • Keep lighters and matches out of reach of children.