Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

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Firefighters urge smokers to ‘Put it Out, Right Out’ for No Smoking Day

Firefighters urge smokers to ‘Put it Out, Right Out’ for No Smoking Day


Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is urging smokers to wake up to the deadly dangers of smoking this No Smoking Day, Wednesday March 14, by highlighting the statistic that more than a third of all fire deaths in the home are caused by cigarettes.

Smoking materials were the source of ignition in 36 percent of fatalities in accidental home fires in 2015-16, and the single biggest killer.

Careless behaviour such as smoking in bed, not taking care after drinking alcohol and falling asleep with a lit cigarette in hand contribute to this deadly statistic.

E-cigarettes also pose a danger, especially if vapers use cheap, unbranded charges and leave devices on charge and unattended for long periods of time.

This No Smoking Day, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is reminding smokers to ‘Put it Out, Right Out whenever they light up, to only purchase e-cigarettes from reputable sources, to install smoke alarms on every level of the home and to test them regularly.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Group Manager, Mark Thomas, said: “Cigarettes or smoking materials are still the biggest killer in accidental fires in homes across the country.

“Every smoker should wake up to the risks they take every time they light up, and drop the habit of smoking while in bed or under the influence of alcohol.

“People who use e-cigarettes should never leave their device on charge while they are asleep or away from the house, and should always read the safety advice enclosed in the packaging.

“When it comes to purchasing e-cigarettes, vapers shouldn’t be tempted to buy cheap, unbranded chargers but check that their device carries CE certification. E-cigarettes and their chargers should be kept well away from combustible materials.

“Crucially, without a working smoke alarm you are four times more likely to die in an accidental fire in the home.

"Just two to three breaths of toxic smoke can render you unconscious, so invest in a working smoke alarm and test it regularly. It will give you the extra time you need to escape your home should the worst happen.”

These simple steps can help prevent cigarette and e-cigarette fires 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 it could easily set furniture alight.

• Never smoke when under the influence of drugs or 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.

• Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn. Never use a wastepaper basket to dispose of a cigarette butt.

• Keep matches out of children’s reach.

• Never leave e-cigarettes on charge unattended for long periods of time.

• Do not mix components of different e-cigarettes.

• Only use the charger supplied with your device.

• Ensure you purchase your e-cigarette and charger from a reputable source.

• Check the e-cigarette carries CE certification.

• Contact Trading Standards over any e-cigarette safety concerns.

• Test your smoke alarm regularly.

For free advice and support to help you quit smoking visit https://www.nhs.uk/smokefree

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