Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Eastenders' plot shows the dangers of cigarette fires

A devastating fire which is set to break out in tonight’s Eastenders shows just how dangerous carelessly discarded cigarettes can be.

In last night’s episode Alfie Moon was seen throwing a cigarette in a wastepaper bin as he attempted to deliberately start a fire to help him out of his financial woes. Tonight the fire will take hold destroying lives as it rages out of control.

This story line shows just how dangerous carelessly discarded cigarettes can be. Smokers are more likely to have a fire in their home and more likely to be hurt as a result of that fire. A third of all fire deaths in the home are caused by cigarettes.

Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick, Community Safety, said: “This Eastenders storyline shows how quickly a carelessly discarded cigarette can turn into an horrific fire. Although Alfie did it deliberately it is amazing how many fires start when someone accidentally throws a still burning cigarette in the bin.”

Smokers need to take extra care to make sure that their cigarette doesn’t spark a fire by following these simple precautions:

•Make sure all cigarettes are fully extingushed bfroe disposing of butts.
•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 wastepaper bin containing other rubbish – and don’t let the ash or cigarette ends build up in the ashtray.

DO Fenwick said: “The other lesson to learn from Eastenders is how important it is to have a working smoke alarm and an escape plan. The smoke alarm will provide vital warning at the first sign of fire giving everyone time to put their escape plan into action and call us when they are safely outside.”

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service will fit free smoke alarms as part of a home fire safety visit so there is no excuse for not having smoke alarms. To arrange a home fire safety visit for yourself or a vulnerable relative call us on0300 303 0088 or email

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