Firefighters are reminding smokers to be careful, and dispose of cigarettes safely, especially if you are spending more time at home.
Fires caused by smokers’ materials caused a third of all deaths in accidental fires in homes in England in 2018/19, according to government figures.
Joanne Cook, Head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Services Community Team, said: “Habits such as smoking in bed or smoking while drinking alcohol in the home increase the risk of cigarette fires. Smokers also seriously lower their chance of escape in a fire by falling asleep with a lit cigarette in hand. Cigarettes and other smoking products are the single biggest killer in house fires.”
“You are likely to be finding yourself spending more time in your home than usual at the moment, and if you smoke you may find yourself smoking more than you normally do, so please be extra careful.”
These simple steps can help prevent a cigarette fire:
- Put it out. Right out. Always ensure that cigarettes are fully extinguished
- Never smoke in bed and take extra care if you’re smoking when you’re tired
- Use a proper ashtray that can’t tip over and is made of a material that won’t burn. Never use a wastepaper basket
- Never leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe lying around – they can easily fall over and start a fire
- Never smoke when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If your cigarette causes a fire you could be less able to escape
- Test your smoke alarm – a working smoke alarm can give you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999