The fire service is warning smokers about the dangers of smoking when it comes to house fires.
As part of the national Fire Kills campaign, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS) is warning smokers that they must wake up to the deadly dangers of smoking, as a third of all fire deaths in the home, are caused by cigarettes.
Smoking is the single biggest killer in accidental house fires, often because of careless behaviour such as smoking in bed, or not taking care after drinking alcohol. When smokers fall asleep with a lit cigarette in hand, their proximity to the resulting fire seriously lowers their chance of making a safe escape.
DFRS would therefore like to remind smokers of the following simple safety tips that can help prevent a cigarette fire in the home -
n Never smoke in bed. Take care when you’re tired – it’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and set furniture alight.
n Never smoke indoors when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If your lit cigarette starts a fire you could be less able to escape.
n Put it out, right out! Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished.
n Fit a smoke alarm and test it weekly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.
n Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended.
n Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn.
n Fit smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them weekly.
n Beware of counterfeit cigarettes that do not meet EU safety standards.
DFRS group manager, Paul Hawker said: “Every six days someone dies from a fire caused by cigarettes or smoking materials. Despite a fall in the overall number of fires caused by these products, it is still the biggest killer in accidental fires in the home across the country.
“Every smoker should wake up to the risks they take every time they light up, and drop the habit of smoking whilst in bed or under the influence of alcohol. The risk of falling asleep before you ‘put it out, right out’ is just too great.”
For more information about staying safe, please visit www.derbys-fire.gov.uk