Can Fire Safe Cigarettes Save Your Home?

Reducing the #1 Cause of Home Fire Deaths

Burning Cigarette

What happens to those cigarettes that are tossed from a car window?  Sometimes they burn out on their own and sometimes they are the point of origin in which a wildfire was started.  How many total loss home fires and home fire deaths are caused by cigarettes? According to the NFPA, smoking was the leading cause of civilian home fire deaths from 2005 – 2009. Could these numbers be lower if cigarettes were made to go out on their own quickly rather than continue to burn?  Absolutely.  This is not a post about smoking, that’s a whole different subject.  What this post is about is cigarette related fires and the advances being made to reduce the number one cause of home fire deaths.  Fire safe cigarettes are self-extinguishing and like cigars, do not continue to burn if dropped or left unattended.

The NFPA recently released a report stating that smoking fire deaths had dropped to a 30 year low and attributed much of this drop to “fire-safe” cigarette legislation.  Here are some facts about fire related deaths you may not have known:

Older adults are at the highest risk of death or injury from home smoking-material fires, even though they are less likely to smoke than younger adults.

 One fatal victim in four (24 percent) of home smoking-material fires was not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire.

Sleeping is the primary human factor contributing to ignition cited for one-third (32 percent) of home smoking-material fire deaths.

James McMullen is a strong advocate of “fire-safe” cigarettes and has worked to promote this cause.  California was one of the first states to adopt this legislation and we are excited about the positive impact reported.

Whether your choice is “fire-safe” or regular cigarettes, you can do your part by following these common-sense tips the US Fire Administration and the NFPA has developed regarding safe storage and disposal of cigarettes:

  • - If you smoke, smoke outside.

  • - Whenever you smoke, use deep, wide, sturdy ashtrays.

  • - Ashtrays should be set on something sturdy and hard to ignite, like an end table.

  • - Before you throw out butts and ashes, make sure they are out. Dowsing them in water or sand is the best way to do this.

  • - Check under furniture cushions and other places people smoke for cigarette butts that may have fallen out of sight.

  • - Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used.

  • - If you smoke, fire-safe cigarettes are better.

  • - Be alert!

For more information visit these links below:

http://www.usfa.fema.gov/campaigns/smoking/

http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/smoking.shtm

http://www.nfpa.org/newsReleaseDetails.asp?categoryid=488&itemId=56169

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This entry was posted in April 2012, Fire Prevention, Fire Safety Tips and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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