Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Discarded cigarette causes kitchen fire

Pytt Field, Harlow
06/02/2019 @ 12:51
Incident Number: 94616
In attendance: 2 x Harlow

An unsafely discarded cigarette caused a kitchen fire in a Harlow flat this afternoon.

Firefighters were called to reports of a fire in the second floor flat after a neighbour was alerted by the sound of the smoke alarm. No-one was inside the property at the time of the fire.

Crews managed to extinguish the fire by 1.07pm before using positive pressure ventilation fans to clear the smoke from the premises.

Fortunately, firefighters were able to contain the fire damage to the kitchen, while the rest of the property has suffered light smoke damage.

Watch Manager Tony Galloway, Harlow Fire Station, said: "This fire was caused accidentally after a cigarette, which had not been properly extinguished, fell from an ash tray into a nearby bin and ignited its contents.

"Fortunately, the property had a working smoke alarm which helped a quick-thinking neighbour to inform us, but this could easily have been much more serious.

"If you or someone you live with smoke at home, please always make sure that your cigarettes are completely out and not near anything flammable before you leave them unattended."


Follow our safety advice

Here are our top tips on staying safe at home as a smoker:

•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.


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