Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

Our Mission: Safer Stronger Communities - Safe Effective Firefighters.

Smoking



"Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is delighted to be working in partnership with The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. Our aim is to reduce the number of smoking related fire deaths and injuries in the home as well as reducing the number of smokers in Merseyside."
Smoking Kills leaflet
Smoking Kills leaflet - KATS
The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation is the only charity in the world wholly dedicated to defeating lung cancer. Despite this disease being the biggest cancer killer of both men and women in the UK, only 3% of all cancer research funding is directed in this area.

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Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service together with KATS (Kids Against Tobacco Smoke) from The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation share a common aim to encourage and help people to stop smoking.



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To find out more about supporting the charity call 0871 220 5426 or visit their website at: www.roycastle.org

Fires caused by smoking make up 12% of accidental dwelling fires, within Merseyside. They accounted for 2/3 of all fatalities and 1 in 5 of all injuries.

Nationally in 2003, smokers materials stated 5,500 fires and caused one in every five injuries. Smokers materials (cigarettes, pipes) cause 75% of all smoking related fires. Matches and lighters start the remainder.

These fires are slightly more likely to occur at night. Around 25% happen between 10pm and 3am. However, there are no consistent peaks. In one year, 6am may be a very concentrated time but not in the next year.

Men are twice as likely to be victims of smoking-related fires as women. Age is not a major factor.

Children are often injured (but rarely killed) in these fires.

The sitting room and the bedroom are the main danger areas, with the sitting room twice as dangerous. Sleeping and inattention are clearly key issues.

Statistics and fire facts


There are about 12.1 million adult cigarette smokers' in the UK and another 2 million who smoke pipes and/or cigars. The mid-1990s saw a gradual increase in the number of child smokers. This trend is particularly among girls, with the number rising from 10% in 1992 to 15% in 1996.

The statistics shown here are national statistics.

Prevalence of cigarette smoking - percentage of adult population
  1974 1978 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996
Men 51 45 38 36 35 33 31 29 28 29
Women 41 37 33 32 31 30 29 28 26 28
All 45 40 35 34 33 32 30 28 27 28

Source: N. Wald, UK Smoking Statistics, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 1991, as reproduced by ASH.

Fatal casualties from fires in dwellings by selected sources of ignition, gender and age, UK, 1998
Age & gender Total Smokers' materials Cigarette lighters Matches Other & unspecified
Male 302 78 5 8 211
Female 193 55 2 5 131
Total 497 133 7 13 344

Non-fatal casualties from fires in dwellings by selected sources of ignition, gender and age, UK, 1998
Age & gender Total Smokers' materials Cigarette lighters Matches Other & Unspecified
Male 7,708 947 166 125 6,470
Female 6,940 681 156 123 5,980
Total 14,672 1,632 322 249 12,469

Fatal casualties in accidental dwelling-fires where the source of ignition was smokers' materials by use of room where fire started, UK, 1998
Corridor, hall Stairs Other residential type Living room, lounge Common or rest room Bedroom, dormitory, cabin Bedsitting room Dining room Kitchen Unspecified Total
1 1 1 67 2 45 11 1 3 1 133

Fatal casualties in accidental dwelling-fires where the source of ignition was smokers' materials by circumstances, UK, 1998
Due to discovering fire Bed- ridden Trapped by fire while asleep, etc Trapped by fire while asleep, etc Trapped by smoke Other Fighting fire Drunk or drugged Chair- ridden Total
5 3 43 6 11 35 3 20 7 133

The above four tables exclude brigade casualties and include late call and heat and smoke damage incidents.

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