Tips for Preventing Cigarette-Related Fires
Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire-related deaths in the United States and the second leading cause of injuries among people ages 65 and older. Evidence suggests that most of the fires that result in death were caused by smoking materials, such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, igniting in bed. Never smoke in bed or if you are sleepy, intoxicated or taking medication.
Did You Know?
- Eighty percent of all fire deaths occur in the home.
- Careless smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths.
- The most common material first ignited in home smoking-related fires is trash, followed by mattresses, bedding and upholstered furniture.
- Having a working smoke alarm more than doubles your chances of surviving a fire.
Following these simple fire-safety tips can boost survival rates dramatically:
- Encourage smokers to smoke outside.
- Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home. Test the batteries every month and change them at least once a year.
- Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn.
- Never smoke in bed or when you are drowsy, intoxicated or medicated.
- Use large, deep, non-tip ashtrays to prevent ashes from spilling onto furniture and check them frequently. Do not rest ashtrays on sofas or chairs.
- Empty ashtrays into the toilet or an airtight metal container. Warm ashes dumped in trash cans can smolder for hours, and then ignite. Completely douse cigarette butts and ashes with water before throwing them away.
- Do not allow smoking in a home where an oxygen tank is in use.
- When smokers visit your home, ask them to keep lighters and matches out of reach of young children, preferably in a locked cabinet.
- If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes.
- Don't leave cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended.
- Be sure to check on the floor and around chair cushions for ashes that may have been dropped accidentally by visiting friends or relatives.