Smoking Materials Warning Following Two Fires OvernightPosted 27/03/2012 14:10:36
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is highlighting the dangers of carelessly discarded smoking materials following two very similar fires within the space of a few hours in Denbighshire.
Crews were called to a fire in a property on Bridge Street, Llangollen at 06:11hrs this morning (Tuesday March 27) after an occupier smelt smoke coming from a lodger's room. Upon entry, firefighters found a fire in a mesh wastepaper basket caused by discarded smoking materials.
Firefighters were then called to a semi detached property on Cae Gruffydd, Rhyl this morning at 08:26 to deal with reports by the occupier of a bedroom full of smoke. Upon investigation, they found a small fire caused by a carelessly discarded cigarette dropped in a waste paper basket holding paper.
Gwyn Jones, Community Safety Manager for Conwy and Denbighshire, said: "These incidents clearly highlight the dangers of not extinguishing cigarettes properly in suitable containers.
"It is vital to make sure all smoking materials are put out safely, especially before bed time. The best way to cut the risk is not to smoke indoors at all. Many smoking related fires happen at night when people fall asleep or smoke in bed and furniture or fabrics are set alight.
"Worryingly, research shows that smokers are less likely than non-smokers to have working smoke alarms which could alert them to the dangers and give the chance of escape.
"If you have elderly relatives or friends who are smokers, make them aware of the possible dangers - by following the steps below they can help cut the risk of a smoking related fire in the home:
-Take extra care when you're tired, taking any sort of drugs or have been drinking alcohol. It's very easy to fall asleep without 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
- Buy child-resistant lighters and matchboxes - every year children die by starting fires with matches and lighters. Keep these where children can't reach them
- 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 not still burning when you are finished - put it out, right out
- 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
- Install and maintain a smoke alarm - when a fire starts, you only have a few minutes to escape. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and dial 999. You can get a basic smoke alarm for the same price as a packet of cigarettes. Better still are those smoke alarms with long-life batteries or are mains-powered.
"North Wales Fire and Rescue Service also offer free home fire safety checks for all residents in North Wales. During a home fire safety check, a member of the Service will visit your home, help formulate a safety escape plan, give tips and guidance on fire safety in the home, and if necessary, install a new smoke alarm free of charge. For a free home fire safety check, please call the 24 hour hotline on 0800 169 1234, visit www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org."