Smokers urged to take care following flat fire in Aylesbury

Sat 23 Jul, 2016



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Firefighters from Aylesbury have issued a warning about leaving lit cigarettes unattended, following a fire at a flat this week. 

Two appliances and crews from Aylesbury and an officer responded to an address in Wendover Road, following a call at 10.28am on Wednesday 20 July. 

They used two sets of breathing apparatus and a hosereel to deal with the fire in the living room, and a positive pressure ventilation fan to clear the smoke from the property.

Watch Commander James Tuffley said: “Our investigation led us to establish the cause of this fire was an unattended lit cigarette which was blown onto a sofa. 

“Luckily the flat had working smoke alarms fitted which alerted the occupant, but we would urge anyone who smokes to make sure that lit cigarettes are not left unattended as they can easily overbalance, be knocked over, or as this incident has shown be blown over by a breeze from an open window.

“We carry out free home fire risk checks to identify potential fire risks in homes, and find people are often surprised that cigarettes pose such a significant risk to life in the event of a fire.

"However there are some simple safety tips that we provide which can help prevent a cigarette related fire at home.” 

Watch Commander Tuffley’s safety tips are: 

  • Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended.
  • Never smoke in bed, and take care when you’re tired. If you need to lie down, don’t light up.
  • Use child-resistant lighters and matchboxes, and keep them where children can't reach them.
  • Tap your ash into a proper ashtray, never a wastebasket containing other rubbish - and don't let the ash or cigarette ends build up in the ashtray.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol when smoking. It’s easy to lose your concentration and this could be lethal when combined with smoking.
  • Fit a smoke alarm and test it weekly or monthly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service will carry out free safety check to identify potential fire risks in your home, advise what to do to reduce or prevent them and fit free smoke alarms if required. Ring 01296 744477 or email cs@bucksfire.gov.uk to book one of these visits. 

If you are a carer or you look after a vulnerable person who smokes, please contact us for additional advice or support. Ring 01296 744477, text 07786 800350 or email cs@bucksfire.gov.uk