Devon and Somerset fire service backs No Smoking Day

SMOKING related fires are the biggest killers in accidental home fires so this year Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is supporting No Smoking Day 2009 and giving smokers yet more reasons to quit on March 11 and beyond.

SMOKING related fires are the biggest killers in accidental home fires so this year Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is supporting No Smoking Day 2009 and giving smokers yet more reasons to quit on March 11 and beyond.

Fire statistics reveal that from April 2008 to February 2009 there were 12 casualties across both counties in accidental house fires started by cigarettes or smoking materials.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service's home safety manager Claire Rice said: "People shouldn't underestimate the dangers associated with smoking in the home if cigarettes aren't properly extinguished.

"The economic price of a house fire is immense and you can't put a cost on the lives of loved ones.


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"I would encourage smokers to give up this No Smoking Day or at the very least pay careful attention to smoking materials."

Dan Tickle, chief executive of the charity No Smoking Day, said: "Seventy per cent of smokers want to stop, but aren't aware that there is free, local help available to them. Your local stop smoking service can increase your chances of success by four times. Why not take the first step this No Smoking Day and feel fitter and healthier."

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For smokers not ready to kick the habit this No Smoking Day, the fire service has issued a number of precautions to take to prevent a fire at home:

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

* Take extra care when you're tired, taking any sort of drugs or have been drinking alcohol. It's very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning.

* Never smoke in bed - if you need to lie down, don't light up. You could doze off and set your bed on fire.

* Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended - they can easily overbalance as they burn down.

* Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can't tip over easily and is made of a material that won't burn. Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished.

* Tap your ash into an ashtray, never a wastebasket containing other rubbish - and don't let the ash or cigarette ends build up in the ashtray.

* Fit and maintain a smoke alarm - a working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.

* Ask the experts - Fire and Rescue Services in England offer free home fire risk checks to identify potential fire risks and advise what to do to reduce or prevent them.

If you are in any doubt about the safety in your home apply for a free home safety visit on 0800 73 11 822 where fire crews will visit your home and give safety advice and it can also result in free smoke alarms being fitted. Smoke alarms save lives.

For further information on fire safety visit www.direct.gov.uk/firekills

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