Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Cigarette sparks house fire

Berecroft, Harlow
21/07/2017 @ 01:44
Incident Number: 59329
In attendance: 2 x Harlow


Firefighters were alerted to a house fire in Harlow this morning by neighbours who heard the smoke alarm sounding  and saw smoke coming from the property.

When crews arrived they found the occupant had managed to leave the property but was suffering from smoke inhalation. The occupant was left in the care of the Ambulance Service.

Firefighters entered the property and managed to quickly extinguish the fire which was in a living room. The property suffered slight smoke damage, but thanks to the quick action of the fire crews the fire did not spread and the damage was minimal.

Firefighters found that the cause of the fire was a cigarette which had not been extinguished properly and had been dropped on the floor.

Station Officer Paul Copper, Harlow Fire Station said:

"Incident like this show how important it is to take extra care when disposing with smoking materials. If you're a smoker or you have a smoker living in your house, make sure you follow our advice to stay safe at home:

  • Make sure your all cigarettes are fully extinguished.
  • Take extra care when you’re tired, taking any sort of drugs or have been drinking alcohol. It’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning.
  • Never smoke in bed - if you need to lie down, don’t light up. You could doze off and set your bed on fire.
  • Never leave lit cigarettes 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. Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished.
  • Tap your ash into an ashtray, never a wastebasket containing other rubbish – and don’t let the ash or cigarette ends build up in the ashtray.
  • Use child safe matches and cigarette lighters and keep them safely out of the reach of children
  • Fit and maintain a smoke alarm - a working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.

It is also very important that all homes have a properly fitted and working smoke alarm. Smoke alarms are without doubt the most important piece of equipment in any home, they sound at the first sign of fire giving everyone a chance to get out and call the fire service.

They are proven life savers but it is vital to make sure that they are in full working order, a non-functioning smoke alarm will not provide any warning at all.

We provide FREE smoke alarms to anyone living in Essex. To book your home safety visit, which includes fitting smoke alarms completely free of charge, call us on 0300 303 0088 or book online: www.essex-fire.gov.uk/book.

 

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