Firefighters urge smokers to Put it Out, Right Out
Oxfordshire County Council's Fire and Rescue Service is backing No Smoking Day (Wednesday 12 March) by urging smokers to 'Put it Out, Right Out' and by highlighting the potentially devastating consequences of failing to stub out a cigarette properly.
Half of house fire deaths in Oxfordshire from 2009 to 2013 were directly linked to smoking materials, including lit cigarettes, but only nine per cent of household fires were triggered by the same cause.
Single biggest killer
Stuart Garner, Oxfordshire County Council's Fire and Rescue Service Home and Community Safety Manager, said: “Obviously the best way of preventing cigarette-related fires is to not smoke all together.
"Smokers who are not ready to kick the habit yet should follow a few simple precautions to prevent a fire in their home and if possible refrain from smoking inside all together.
“When extinguishing cigarettes always make sure they are put out, right out. People should never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended and always use a proper ashtray that won’t easily tip over.
"Careless disposal of cigarettes, cigars, matches and lighters are the single biggest killer in house fires in Oxfordshire and in this country.
"A carelessly discarded cigarette or match could result in a fatal house fire, or at the very least destruction of possessions and childhood memories."
Test it Tuesday
Councillor Louise Chapman, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Working smoke alarms act as an early warning system and will give people valuable time to escape in the event of a fire. I would like to encourage everyone to get into the ‘Test it Tuesday’ routine and test your alarms every Tuesday."
- Smoke outside - avoid the danger of a fire starting inside the home by smoking outside only and at the same time this will help other family members avoid passive smoking
- Put it out, right out and make sure cigarettes are fully extinguished
- Have a smoke alarm fitted and test it weekly - working smoke alarms can buy people valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.
- People should never smoke in bed - they should take care when they are tired, as it is very easy to fall asleep while cigarettes are still burning
- Carry out a home fire risk check - people can do this online at 365alive.co.uk - it only takes a few minutes and it could help save lives
- Make an escape plan - sit down and make an escape plan with family members so that everyone knows what to do if there is a fire at home
People can call the Community Safety Helpline on 08000 325999 or email email@example.com if they are concerned about the outcome of a home fire risk check or if they would like Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service to provide assistance.