Smoking Fire Safety

Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:17 am

Focus on Fire Safety: Smoking
Every year, almost 1,000 smokers and non-smokers are killed in home fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking materials. Fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking materials are preventable. You can make a difference!

The Facts
Smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths in the United States. People close to where a smoking material fire starts are harder to save because the fire spreads fast. Most fires caused by smoking material start on beds, furniture, or in the trash.

In 2006, there were an estimated 142,900 smoking-material fires in the United States. These fires caused 780 civilian fire deaths and 1,600 civilian injuries.

Smokers aren’t the only ones who suffer from smoking home fires:

One in four people killed in home fires is not a smoker whose cigarette caused the fire.
Thirty-four percent are children of the smokers.
Twenty-five percent are neighbors or friends of the smokers.
Older adults are at the highest risk of death or injury from smoking-material fires even though they are less likely to smoke.

What Can You Do?

If You Smoke, Smoke Outside

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Most home fires caused by smoking materials start inside the home. It's better to smoke outside. If you smoke outside, put your cigarettes out in a can filled with sand.

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Wherever You Smoke, Use Deep, Sturdy Ashtrays

Use ashtrays with a wide, stable base that are hard to tip over. If it wobbles, it won't work.

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Make Sure Cigarettes and Ashes Are Out
The cigarette really needs to be completely stubbed out in an ashtray. Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.

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Check for Butts
Chairs and sofas catch on fire fast and burn fast. Don't put ashtrays on them. If people have been smoking in the home, check for cigarettes under cushions.

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Never Smoke in a Home Where Oxygen Is Used
Never smoke while using oxygen or are anywhere near an oxygen source, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.

If You Smoke, Fire-Safe Cigarettes Are Better
Fire-safe cigarettes are less likely to cause fires. These cigarettes have banded paper that can slow the burn of a cigarette that isn't being used.

Be Alert
To prevent a deadly fire, you have to be alert. If you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out first. Smoking in bed is just plain wrong.

Practice Fire Safety

Place properly installed and maintained smoke alarms on every level of your home.
Check smoke alarm batteries at least once every year. You can use a familiar date, such as when you change your clocks or your birthday, as a reminder.
Create an escape plan. Plan two ways to escape from every room. Practice the escape plan with everyone in the home.
If at all possible, install residential fire sprinklers in your home.

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Re: Smoking Fire Safety

Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:41 pm

Some good points Jeff! With the hot, dry days upon us this is a timely subject. Thanks for the reminder.

We had some friends over one day and one of the guys walked into the barn with a lit cigarette and I asked him nicely to please put it out before going in. He got a little agitated and said he knew not to flick his ashes on the floor. I told him that may be, but the ashes tend to drop by themselves at times and oldburns fast. He never said another word and put it out.

The fire department can hit the barn with a large stream of water from their parking lot. I know because I let them shoot across my roof one time while testing their pumps. But I never want to test them with the real thing. They told me one time they worry about that barn now and then. So do I, I need BOB to stick around for many more years.

Re: Smoking Fire Safety

Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:22 am

Why do people hold leaves and paper in their mouth and set fire to them anyway?

Re: Smoking Fire Safety

Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:19 pm

Virginia Mike wrote:Why do people hold leaves and paper in their mouth and set fire to them anyway?


Same reason alcoholics drink and druggies get high. :{_}: :{_}: Grump