Smoking is the single biggest killer in accidental fires in the home, often because of careless behaviour such as smoking in bed or not taking care after drinking alcohol. Nationally every five days, someone dies from a fire caused by cigarettes or smoking materials.
The safest way to prevent a cigarette fire is to stop smoking.
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Follow this advice to stay safe at home if you smoke:
- Never smoke in bed or when tired. It’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and set yourself or your furniture alight;
- Never smoke when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If your lit cigarette starts a fire you will 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 and start a fire;
- Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn;
- Always dispose of your butts before going to bed in a safe and secure bin.
If you use e-cigarettes, please follow these tips:
- Buy well-known brands from reputable retailers;
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe charging, use and disposal;
- Do not leave unattended whilst on charge;
- Only use the charger supplied with your kit – do not mix and match components from different devices;
- Charge the device on a flat, solid and stable surface;
- Never over tighten a battery onto the charger and remove the battery from the charger when fully charged;
- Stick to the recommended charging time;
- Never leave unattended for long periods or while you are asleep or away from the house;
- Keep the device away from flammable or combustible materials while charging and never leave on a bed or soft furnishings or under pillows, sheets or duvets.