Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Garden fire caused by discarded cigarette

Elizabeth Road, Pilgrims Hatch
23/04/2021 @ 18:05
Incident Number: 143073
In attendance: 1 x Brentwood

Firefighters are highlighting the importance of putting cigarettes out properly after a shed and fences caught fire this evening.

A crew from Brentwood was called to Pilgrims Hatch at 6:05pm and reported that a shed and several fence panels were alight. 

Firefighters extinguished the fire by 6:16pm.

Watch Manager Jason Hayward said: “Luckily, the resident was still in the garden after smoking and acted quickly to extinguish the fire with a garden hose.

“With the summer months coming and people able to welcome guests into their gardens, we’re urging smokers to ensure their cigarettes are properly stubbed out….especially with the dry weather, a lit cigarette can quickly cause devastation.”

Are you a smoker or do you live with someone who is?

This month Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is urging smokers to give up after revealing that house fires caused by smoking products kill more people than fires caused by anything else. 

To help you keep safe, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is reminding smokers to ‘Put it Out, Right Out’ whenever they light up; to install smoke alarms on every level of the home; and, to test them regularly. Without a working smoke alarm, you are at least eight times more likely to die in an accidental fire in the home.

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
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