South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue is highlighting the dangers of smoking, after recent figures show these are still a main cause of accidental dwelling fires.
Smoking related fires have remained at a similar level for the past few years. While accidental house fires are reducing, fires caused from cigarettes or other smoking materials still amount to around 60 incidents per year, the same as six years ago.
Firefighters are appealing to smokers to take extra care and to keep the risk of fire low, by following some basic fire safety advice:
• Never smoke in bed – it’s very easy to fall asleep and allow your cigarette to set light to your bedclothes or furnishings
• Don’t smoke if you’re drowsy – especially if you’re sitting in a comfortable chair or if you’ve been drinking or taking prescription drugs. Again, it’s easy to fall asleep
• Don’t leave a lighted cigarette, pipe or cigar unattended – they can easily overbalance and land on the carpet or other flammable material
• Make totally sure that your butts aren’t still smouldering – wet them and empty your ashtray into a metal bin outside the house
• Keep lighters, matches and smoking materials out of the reach of children – you can also buy child-resistant lighters and containers for matches
Trevor Bernard, Head of Community Safety at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, said: “Smoking remains one of the biggest causes of accidental house fires, but nearly all of these can be avoided by following some basic some simple rules. For example, never smoke in bed, never leave a lit cigarette unattended, always ensure that cigarettes are put out properly and keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children.”
For more information on ways to help you stop smoking visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree.
Smoking related accidental fires for South Yorkshire:
2009/10 – 71
2010/11 – 62
2011/12 – 65
2012/13 – 40
2013/14 – 61
2014/15 – 51
2015/16 (to the end of the 2nd quarter) – 30