Thursday, 24 April 2014

Wake up to the deadly risk – Smoking is the biggest house fire killer

Smokers are being warned that they must wake up to the deadly dangers of smoking as East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service highlights that smoking is the single biggest killer in accidental fires in the home, often because of behaviour such as smoking in bed or not taking care after drinking alcohol.

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is reminding smokers to ‘Put it Out, Right Out’ whenever they light up; to install smoke alarms on every level of the home; and to test them regularly. Without a working smoke alarm you are much more likely to die in an accidental fire in the home.

Community Safety Team Manager, Steve Wright, said: “More people die in fires caused by smoking than in fires caused by anything else.

“Every smoker should wake up to the risks they take every time they light up, never smoke in bed, especially under the influence of alcohol or if they’ve taken prescription drugs.

“The risk of falling asleep before you ‘put it out, right out’ is just too great. Just two to three breaths of toxic smoke can render you unconscious, so invest in a working smoke alarm. It can give you the extra time you need to escape if the worst should happen.”

These simple steps can help prevent a cigarette fire in the home:

  • 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
·         Have you ensured that children can’t get hold of any matches or lighters in your home? You can also buy child resistant versions.
  • Are you using proper ash trays? They should be made of something which won’t catch alight and won’t tip over if accidentally knocked.
  • Be careful smoking when under the influence of alcohol. If your lit cigarette starts a fire you could be less able to escape. 
  • Put it out, right out!  Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished
  • 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
  • Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended – they can easily overbalance as they burn down

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