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How Smoking May Cause Fires and What You Should Do?

smokingSmoking kills-in more ways than you can think of. In the United States, almost 500000 people die every year because of smoking. Those deaths not only destroy their families but cost the whole nation. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in US reported smoking lowers productivity, which in turn, results in the loss of billions every year.

For those of you, who have been lighting up cigarettes proudly, and blowing the smoke in the faces of whosoever across to you, smoking aggravates fire risks. In one my previous posts, I discussed in details how you may end up as a fire hazard victim by drinking alcohol.

In this article, I'll discuss how smoking also increases the risk of a fire.

Preventable fire

The fire that is caused by smoking belongs in the category of preventable fires, meaning it's possible to prevent the fire if proper precautions are being taken. The best precaution, according to me is not to smoke. However, that's not a feasible advice as smokers will smoke regardless.

I advise them to prioritize safety when smoking. Also, I insist them to go through the stat figures that I lay out below:

Smoking fire facts

Reports from US Fire Administration gives us a heads-up on the likelihood of fire being caused due to smoking. The key findings in the report include

  • A person who smokes is seven times more likely to have a fire at home than another person, who doesn't smoke.
  • When a fire is caused by smoking materials, it glows for hours even though there's no flame.
  • The majority of residential fire deaths took place because people were in sleep when the fire emerged.
  • Smoking fire victims are mostly aged people. Nearly 40% of them are 65 years of age or even older.

The findings are alarming. Do consider them next time you light up a cigarette.

Smoke alarm

Installing smoke alarms reduces the odds of smoking led fire hazards. Most smokers have a bad habit. They forget to put out the cigarette and leave the room putting the burning cigarette in the ashtray. Some of them unhesitatingly smoke without giving two hoots about the place they are in. There could be combustible materials all around, but those people are least bothered.

The smoke alarm keeps reminding them about the possibility of a fire. That's the benefit of installing a smoke alarm; even if you are oblivious to the dangers of smoking, the alarm is not.

Imagine you have drifted into sleep without extinguishing the cigarette because you simply forgot to do so. A fire might very well be caused. The smoke alarm is your only prevention guide.

Embers in risk areas

In other words, it's a surefire recipe for an apartment fire. Smokers often twitch their fingers or stroke the filter of the cigarette with their thumbs to shake the ash off of the tip of the cigarette. This could be dangerous because small sparks of fire falling on the floor on the drapes and curtains may cause a fire.

Identifying a risk area is difficult. An area that's risky in terms of fire doesn't always contain inflammable materials. The bedroom, for example, is a high-risk area. Bedroom fire safety tips should be followed. But sadly, most smokers don't realize that. The mattresses, pillows, etc. can catch a fire quickly, and so, never ever smoke in the bedroom, especially not while lying on your bed. And make sure you are shaking all the embers into the ashtray.

Safety checklist

It's a collection of all the do's and don'ts, much like a driving handbook. Whether it's you or anybody else, when smoking inside of a house, all the individual clauses in the safety checklist should be followed. The clauses include:

  • Make sure you've completely put out the cigarette.
  • Don't smoke when you are feeling drowsy.
  • Don't smoke when you are drinking because alcohol may impair your ability to think and judge. You may end up doing something silly and dangerous, and that may cause a fire.
  • After entering into the home, check for cigarette butts in the areas underneath the upholstery and cushion. Cigarette butts, which are not doused properly may cause fires. So, do look for them.

It’s disappointing that many people don’t have a safety checklist. I advise them to bear in mind all the said clauses in the checklist.

Photoelectric smoke alarm

There are two types of smoke alarm in the market; one type is ionized and another type is photoelectric. I recommend you to install photoelectric alarms in the bedroom and in the living room.

Most people smoke in these two rooms and forget to douse cigarette butts with smoldering fire. Because a photoelectric smoke alarm can detect smoldering fires, installing it makes your living room and bedroom more secure.

Smoke safe

As you can see, smoking is injurious for several reasons, and some of them don’t easily come in mind. Follow the safety checklist and stay safe from a fire.

Contributed by http://www.firesafetyconsultant.com/

A post by Katie Smith (27 Posts)

Katie Smith is author at LeraBlog. The author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views and opinions of LeraBlog staff.
Katie Smith is a Fire Expert and her area of interests and expertise lies in forensic science and accident or crime scene investigation related matters. She often consults Houston Fire Investigation from http://www.firesafetyconsultant.com/.

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