Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Broken lighter causes bedroom fire

Bodmin Road, Chelmsford
08/04/2021 @ 14:43
Incident Number: 142805
In attendance: 1 x Chelmsford, 1 x Braintree

Firefighters have issued smoking safety advice after a broken cigarette lighter caused a bedroom fire in Chelmsford this afternoon.

Crews were called to Bodmin Road in Chelmsford at 2:43pm when residents heard their smoke alarms going off and quickly got out of the house to call the Fire Service, shutting as many doors as they could on their way out. 

On arrival, crews reported that a bedroom was 100% smoke logged and worked to extinguish the fire by 3:21pm.

The fire was caused by a broken cigarette lighter that set fire to the bedding.

Crew Manager Paul Mayes from Chelmsford Fire Station said: “If you are a smoker or you know someone who smokes, we’d advise you do not smoke in the bedroom and ensure your lighters are in a good condition and you do not leave them unattended after use.

“We’d also like to highlight the importance of having working smoke alarms. The smoke alarms alerted the residents very quickly to this fire which meant they called us quickly and we could put it out before it spread. 

“We’d like to praise the resident for thinking quickly to shut the doors on the way out of the house which managed to prevent a lot of damage to the house. In the event of a fire, if it is safe to do so - and only if it is safe to do so - please try to shut doors on your way out of the house as this can minimise smoke and fire damage. 

“Please do not attempt to tackle a fire yourself or return to the property if there is a fire.”

Are you a smoker of know somebody who is?

This month, we’re urging smokers to give up smoking after data revealed that house fires caused by smoking products kill more people than fires caused by anything else. 

These simple steps can help prevent a cigarette fire 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 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 
  • Never leave lit cigarettes, or other smoking materials 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
  • It's safer to smoke outside, but make sure cigarettes are put right out and disposed of properly
  • Never smoke if you use healthcare equipment like medical oxygen or an air flow pressure relief mattress. If you use paraffin-based emollient creams, ask for non-flammable alternatives instead. If you or someone else you care for continues to smoke, then consider additional safety measures such as fire retardant bedding or nightwear
  • A lot of people make the switch from smoking to vaping, but even vaping has fire safety risks - the risks around vaping tend to come from counterfeit or faulty products, and poor charging practices 
  • Make an attempt to quit using NHS support if you need it.  If you do not want to quit, consider vaping
  • Fit a smoke alarm and test it at least monthly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999

Do you have working smoke alarms?

We want every home in Essex to have a working smoke alarm on every floor. If you or someone you know doesn’t have working smoke alarms at home, please get in touch so we can see how best to provide fire safety advice, either through a Home Safety Visit or advice over the phone. You can get in touch with us at

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