Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Flat fire - firefighters issue cigarette warning

Mariskals, Pitsea
07/07/2020 @ 21:21
Incident Number: 126271
In attendance: 2 x Basildon, 1 x Tillingham


Basildon firefighters are warning people to take extra care when disposing cigarettes after a flat fire in Pitsea last night.

Thanks to their working smoke alarm, the occpuants were alerted to the fire and were able to get out of the flat with the help from their neighbour before the fire crews arrived.

Firefighters managed to quickly extinguish the fire and stop it spreading to rest of the property. The property has suffered smoke damage, but the fire and heat damage was confined to the bedroom where the fire started.

Firefighters discovered that the fire had started by a cigarette that had been put in a wicker bin.

Crew Manager Dan Hart, said: "It’s absolutely vital you ensure your cigarette is completely out when you’ve finished smoking it. If you don’t, you risk causing a fire that could destroy not only your home, but also your life. Incidents like this also show how important it is to have a working smoke alarm as it will give you early warning of a fire so you have time to get out, stay out and call the fire service out."

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service fit smoke alarms completely FREE of charge. To book a visit call 0300 303 0088 or book online: www.essex-fire.gov.uk/book.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service's advice for smokers:

  • Put it out, right out – always make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished.
  • Take extra care when you’re tired or have been drinking alcohol. It’s very easy to fall asleep without realising that 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 cigars or pipes unattended - they can easily overbalance as they burn down, land on a carpet or newspaper and start a fire.
  • Where possible buy child-resistant lighters and matchboxes
  • Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn.
  • Tap your ash into an ashtray – never a wastebasket - and don’t let the ash or cigarette ends build up in the ashtray.

(Tillingham Firefighters attended the incident as they were returning from an incident nearby and driving through Basildon at the time of the call)

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