Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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NO BUTTS! Smokers take extra care

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is warning smokers to make sure that they take extra care to make sure their world doesn’t go up in smoke.

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: “Our best advice for smokers would be to give up, you will receive tremendous health benefits and be much safer from the risk of fire.

“It takes just one carelessly discarded cigarette and a few seconds for your world to go up in smoke.

“Every year our crews deal with hundreds of incidents started by cigarettes. These fire cause devastation, death and destruction so smokers have to be extra careful.

“People shouldn’t underestimate the dangers associated with smoking in the home. Cigarettes burn at up to 700 degrees centigrade and can easily start a fire.

“Every five days, someone in the UK dies in a fire caused by cigarettes or smoking materials, it’s still the biggest killer in accidental fires in the home across the country.

“Smokers need to wake up to the risks that their habit puts them and their families at.

“For those that cannot give up make sure that you extinguish all smoking materials properly and never leave a cigarette or cigar burning unattended.

“No BUTTS! Put it out, put it right out.”

For smokers not ready to kick the habit, it is important to follow these simple precautions to prevent a fire 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.

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