Smoking still a major cause of house fires

12 April 2018
stock image of used cigarettes in an ashtray

Firefighters in Northamptonshire attended 17 accidental house fires, during a single year, in which smoking was named as the cause.

Officers from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) are asking smokers to take extreme caution when using and throwing away smoking materials.

Countrywide focus

The month of April sees the National Fire Chiefs Council concentrate on smoking as their focus in the countrywide Fire Kills campaign.

Across the country, smoking remains a major reason why fires break out in the home.

In the financial year 2016 to 2017, NFRS attended 17 accidental domestic fires linked to smoking.

Tina Collett, NFRS District Liaison Officer said: “The best advice to minimise risks would of course be to stop smoking completely, but for continuing smokers, we would urge them to make sure they keep safe.

“Smoking becomes such a part of people’s lives, it is too easy to forget how dangerous it can be if cigarettes, matches and other items are not used and disposed of safely. We hope people will take notice of our advice and really think about the smoking practices they use in their own homes.”

The joint Prevention and Community Protection Department (Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and Northamptonshire Police) would like to remind people about some of the steps they can take to keep safe.

Smoking safety tips

  1. Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully. Put them out, right out.
  2. Use a proper ashtray, never a wastepaper basket.
  3. Make sure your ashtray can’t tip over and is made of a material that won’t burn.
  4. Don’t leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe lying around. They can easily fall over and start a fire.
  5. Take extra care if you smoke when you’re tired, taking prescription drugs, or if you’ve been drinking. You might fall asleep and set your bed or sofa on fire.
  6. Never smoke in bed.
  7. Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach.
  8. Consider buying child resistant lighters and match boxes.

For more information on domestic fire safety visit our home safety section.

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