No Smoking Day

No smoking sign

Firefighters add their voices to No Smoking Day

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is using national No Smoking Day as the chance to reinforce their cigarette safety message; ‘put it out, put it right out.’

Wednesday 13 March is National No Smoking Day, and AF&RS is reminding smokers that their habit does not just pose a risk to their health – but to everyone else in their household, and the property itself.

Station Manager Jon Brown said: “Smoking is the single biggest cause of fire deaths in the UK.

“We are happy to be supporting No Smoking Day, as giving up greatly reduces the risk of unwanted fires in the home.”

In Great Britain in 2011-12, smokers’ materials (cigarettes, cigars or pipe tobacco) caused 2,673 fires; that is 7% of accidental house fires that year; but accounted for one third, or 34%, of accidental house fire fatalities.

“Smoking is the single biggest cause of fire deaths in the UK"

In 2011-12 there were 84 deaths attributable to smoking materials; that is a significant reduction from the 144 on 2001-02 – a decade earlier – but is 84 needless deaths too many.

For those unable to quit, AF&RS has a simple safety message.

SM Brown said: “If you do smoke, it’s extremely important that you take extra care when putting out your cigarette.

“It is easy to overlook how a cigarette which has not been put out properly can slowly and quietly smoulder before developing into a fire.

“The ideal solution is not to smoke at all, as this will ensure your safety, improve your health, and leave you with more money in your pocket.

“But if you are going to smoke then please make sure that when you are finished, you put it out, right out.”

Other top smoking safety tips include:

  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Always use a proper ashtray, never a wastepaper basket.
  • Make sure your ashtray cannot easily tip over and that it is made from a material that does not burn.
  • Don’t leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe lying around. They can easily fall over and start a fire.
  • Take extra care if you smoke when you are tired, taking prescription drugs or if you have been drinking. You could easily fall asleep and set your bed or sofa on fire.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
  • Consider buying child-resistant lighters and matchboxes.