A weekly article that will offer information concerning the Kilgore Fire Department and provide safety tips for home and family.
In a recent study there were an estimated annual 90,000 smoking-material fires in the United States. These fires caused 540 civilian deaths, 1,640 civilian injuries and $621 million in direct property damage. One out of four fatal victims of smoking-material fires is not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire. Most deaths result from fires that started in bedrooms. Nearly half fatal home smoking-material fire victims were age 65 or older. If you are someone you know smokes, follow these safety guidelines:
• If you smoke, use only fire-safe cigarettes.
• To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you must be alert, especially if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs that make you drowsy, or have consumed alcohol.
• If you smoke, smoke outside.
• Never smoke where medical oxygen is used. Medical oxygen can cause materials to ignite more easily and make fires burn at a faster rate than normal. It can make an existing fire burn faster and hotter.
• Wherever you smoke, use deep, sturdy ashtrays. If ashtrays are not available, use a metal can or pail. Never empty smoking material directly into a trash can. Place the ashtrays or metal cans away from anything that can burn.
• Do not throw out cigarettes into vegetation, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, or similar items that can easily catch fire.
• Before you throw out butts and ashes, make sure they are out. Put them out in water or sand.
• Before going to bed, check under furniture cushions and around places where people smoke for cigarette butts that may have fallen out of sight.
• Keep cigarettes, lighters, matches, and other smoking materials up high out of the reach of children, in a locked cabinet.
• Fires have occured while e-cigarettes were being used, the battery was being charged, or the device was being transported. Never leave charging e-cigarettes unattended. E-cigarettes should be used with caution.
**Parts of this article were “Reproduced with permission of the NFPA”