It’s No Smoking day on March 13th 2013, and everybody is going to be evaluating the health risks of cigarettes. However, recent statistics released by the Government have highlighted another pressing area of concern – fire safety.
A fire caused by smoking materials could severely harm everyone in the building that’s ignited. In fact, fires that have smoking materials as a source of ignition are well known for their high civilian mortality rates. So for those of you who won’t be kicking the habit this year, let’s look at some statistics and what they tell us about smoking safety.
Be mindful of the risks
Government figures collected from 2010 to 2011 show that smoking materials were the second largest source of ignition in house fires, topped only by cooking appliances.
If you’re a regular smoker, you light up so frequently that you forget the associated risks. It’s easy to fall into bad habits, such as creating make-shift ash trays. By being mindful of what you’re doing, and how you’re handling your cigarette, you can take precautions that will reduce your risk.
Take care when at work
In Scotland, smoking materials and matches were the source of ignition in 35% of non-domestic fires.
This is fairly surprising, given that smoking indoors has been prohibited in all UK workplaces since July 2007. But this just highlights the ongoing need to take precautions when at work.
Make sure that you smoke in the designated area, away from flammable substances. Dispose of your cigarettes in a proper ash tray.
Never smoke in bed
Never smoke in bed or when you are tired – you really don’t want to fall asleep with a lit cigarette. It’s also important that you use a steady ash tray that won’t tip over and set your mattress, bedding or furniture alight.
Take extra when you’ve been drinking or taking medication
Smoking while drinking alcohol in the home, and lighting up in bed, are behaviours responsible for one in three of all accidental house fires resulting in deaths.
It’s important that you take extra care when you’ve been drinking or taking medication. No matter how tempting it may be, never smoke in bed after drinking.
Install a smoke alarm
A working smoke alarm makes you twice as likely to survive a house fire. It’s important that you install a smoke alarm on every level of your home.
Each alarm should be checked weekly and batteries should be replaced annually. The entire alarm should be changed every ten years. To ensure the detector in your alarm is free of dust, you should run a hand-held vacuum over the case every month.
Make sure your cigarette is properly extinguished
Cigarettes burn at 700 degrees centigrade and can easily set fire to combustible materials when lit.
Before disposing of your cigarette, make sure it is properly extinguished. Additionally, before emptying your ash tray, you should add a drop of water to it and wait for the contents to cool.
Natasha Sabin is a fire safety enthusiastic and avid blogger from a Fire Safety Supplier who stocks fire equipment. She’s made it her mission to share in the expert team’s industry knowledge to help keep us all safe. Be on the lookout for new, exciting, and somewhat disturbing developments in the world of fire.
All images are courtesy of photopin.com
Many thanks to Natasha for giving us her blog post to include and if you have any you would like considered then please contact us here and please remember we can be contacted on 01415612735.
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