Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) is reminding smokers to ‘Put it out, right out’ whenever they light up to prevent a cigarette fire in the home.
There are some simple steps you can take to reduce the chances of smoking materials leading to a fire.
Fires caused by smoking products kill more people than fires caused by any other item. Not smoking while tired, using a proper and secure ashtray and stubbing them out properly can greatly reduce the risk of an accidental fire breaking out.
GFRS is urging smokers to ‘Put it out, right out’ to make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished and to install smoke alarms on every level of the home. Without a working smoke alarm, which should be tested regularly, you are at least eight times more likely to die in an accidental fire in the home.
To keep safe follow these tips:
- Never smoke in bed. It’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and set furniture alight.
- Never smoke when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If your lit cigarette starts a fire you could be less able to escape.
- Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended – they can easily overbalance as they burn down.
- Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn.
- Do not buy illegal tobacco – some illegal cigarettes may not self-extinguish, presenting a higher fire risk
For advice specific to you and your home, visit www.ohfsc.co.uk and complete your own home fire safety check.
The best way to remove any fire risk, as well as to improve your health, is to stop smoking. You can get support to quit from Gloucestershire Healthy Lifestyles Service.
It’s free and you’re four times more likely to do it with their support than trying alone – 75 per cent of people who’ve used the service have become smoke-free. You can contact them on 0800 122 3788, email email@example.com or visit their website HLS Gloucestershire – Home (hlsglos.org)
Mark Preece, Chief Fire Officer, said: “Fires ignited by cigarettes or smoking materials result in more fatalities than any other fire. Despite a fall in the overall number of fires caused by these products, it’s still the biggest cause of accidental fires in the home across the country.
“Every smoker should be aware of the risks they take every time they light up and drop the habit of smoking indoors, especially in bed, or under the influence of alcohol. The risk of falling asleep before you ‘put it out, right out’ is just too great.”
Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member with responsibility for the Fire and Rescue Service, said: “I would urge all smokers to follow this important advice to reduce the chances of a cigarette fire in your home.
“You should also make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them at least monthly. Working smoke alarms can give you the extra time you need to escape if the worst should happen.”