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Fire service highlights risks associated with smoking
11:10am Saturday 9th March 2013 in Local
HEREFORD and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is supporting this year’s National No Smoking Day, which takes place on Wednesday.
The Service will highlight fire hazards associated with smoking and what smokers can do to minimise the risks.
Station Commander Alan Haley, of the community safety department at HWFRS, said: “While less than five per cent of house fires in Herefordshire and Worcestershire last year were caused by smoking materials, over half of these resulted in injury.
“These statistics are concerning and we hope to use National No Smoking Day to highlight the far-reaching impact that smoking can have and to encourage smokers to adopt safer habits to help minimise the risk of a fire in their home”.
He urged smokers to follow precautions to avoid a fire in their homes:
- Put it out, right out. Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished and be extra vigilant when leaving the house or going up to bed at night.
- Fit a smoke alarm and test it weekly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.
- Never smoke in bed. Take care when you are tired. It is easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and set furniture alight.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol when smoking. It is easy to lose your concentration when using any sort of drugs or drinking alcohol and the risk can be greater again when combined with cigarettes.
- Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended - they can easily overbalance as they burn down.
- Use a proper, heavy ashtray that cannot tip over easily and is made of a material that will not burn.
There were 424 dwelling fires in Herefordshire and Worcestershire in 2012 - 21 of them (4.95 per cent) caused by smoking materials. There were no deaths but 12 of the 21 smoking-related fires resulted in injuries, equating to 57 per cent.