In 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 90,000 fires started from smoking materials, resulting in an estimated 540 deaths and 1,640 injuries, not counting any firefighter deaths or injuries. These fires caused $621 million in direct property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
The USFA and NFPA offer these tips to prevent fires caused by smoking materials:
- If you smoke, think about quitting
- If you smoke, consider switching to fire-safe cigarettes, which have a reduced ignition strength and are less likely to cause a fire
- When you smoke, smoke outside
- Use deep, wide ashtrays placed on a sturdy surface indoors and a can filled with sand outdoors
- Extinguish all smoking materials (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, etc.) prior to leaving the room or area
- Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them into the trash
- Check under furniture cushions for cigarette butts that may have fallen out of sight
- Stay alert! Don’t smoke in bed, and put out cigarettes if you are feeling drowsy
- Make sure working smoke alarms are properly installed on every level of your home to alert you in case of fire
- Use dual-sensor smoke alarms that detect both a flame-driven fire and a smoky fire that produces fumes without flames
- Never smoke in a home where medical oxygen is in use
- Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children
To read the complete blog post from Cincinnati, click here.