Peak fire chief’s warning over dangers of smoking

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HIGH PEAK residents are being reminded to wake up to the dangers of smoking in the home as figures show more than a third of all deaths in fires in the home are caused by cigarettes.

Smoking is the single biggest killer in accidental fires in the home, often because of careless behaviour such as smoking in bed or not taking care after drinking alcohol. And when smokers fall asleep with a lit cigarette in hand, their proximity to the resulting fire seriously lowers their chance of escaping in time.

Now Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS) 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 four times more likely to die in an accidental fire in the home.

Station manager Alan Richmond said: “Every five days, someone dies from a fire caused by cigarettes or smoking materials.”

DFRS have issued some simple steps to help prevent a cigarette fire in the home:

lNever 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.

lNever smoke when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If your lit cigarette starts a fire you may be less able to escape.

lPut it out, right out! Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished.

lFit a smoke alarm and test it weekly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.

lNever leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended - they can easily overbalance as they burn down.

lUse a proper, heavy ashtray that can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn.

For more information on fire safety, visit www.derbys-fire-gov.uk.