Smokers urged to quit as firefighters highlight the dangers of cigarettes


Firefighters from Yate Fire Station will be highlighting the negative health effects of smoking when they take on a number of teams in a gruelling rowing challenge.

Fire crews have teamed up with the NHS Stop Smoking Service and will be using National No Smoking Day on Wednesday 9 March to demonstrate the impact smoking has on your breathing.

Wearing specially adapted breathing apparatus sets, teams from Avon Fire & Rescue Service, Yate Leisure Centre and Chipping Sodbury Rugby Club will race against each other to simulate how smoking reduces lung function.

Avon Fire & Rescue Service Community Safety Officer for South Gloucestershire, John Davies, said: “Smokers are nearly twice as likely to have a fire in their home than a non-smoker, so as well as the negative effects on their health, we’re keen to highlight the extra risk they face in their homes.

“Our crews will be demonstrating just how hard it is for smokers to breathe when doing physical activity. Hopefully this will give smokers extra encouragement to give up, which will benefit their health as well as reduce their risk of having a fire in their home.

“For those who don’t manage to quit, we will be offering fire safety advice to ensure they dispose of their smoking materials safely and prevent fire breaking out, destroying their home and endangering life.

“Our main piece of advice is to smoke outside and when you have finished put it out, right out.”

Safety advice for smokers:

  • Smoking outside is much safer;
  • Never light a cigarette if you have been drinking or taking prescription medication as you could fall asleep with the cigarette still burning;
  • Never leave a lit cigarette lying around as it can burn down, land on a carpet or newspaper and start a fire;
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children;
  • Use a deep ashtray made of non flammable materials which can’t tip over;
  • Never tap ash into a wastepaper bin as it could set light to other items; and
  • When you have finished smoking, put it out, right out.

Firefighters will also be highlighting the importance of working smoke alarms to the smokers they meet. A working smoke alarm provides an early warning that a fire has broken out and can give occupants vital extra minutes to escape the property, especially at night.

Avon Fire & Rescue Service carries out Home Fire Safety Visits in the homes of the most vulnerable in the community.