Release date: 6 March 2020
Firefighters in West Sussex are urging residents about the dangers of smoking in beds or comfortable furniture after a rise in the number of smoking related fires.
Latest figures from the service show that in the last five years smoking related fires have increased by 52 per cent in the county.
Crews are now spreading the message #DontSnoozeAndSmoke in a bid to prevent further fires as a result of smoking.
Head of Prevention for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Nicki Peddle, said: “In addition to the health risks smoking is a major cause of fires, particularly for those who are over 65 and living alone.
“If you know a smoker who isn’t ready to quit, and you want to help them reduce the risks, encourage them to get out of their comfortable space when they smoke if they are able to and if not to consider vaping as an alternative.”
During 2018/19 the service saw an increase particularly in Crawley, Bognor Regis and Worthing of smoking-related fires.
Other tips include:
- Make sure cigarettes are completely put out.
- Take care not to fall asleep when smoking.
- Never smoke near flammable liquids or creams.
- If you can, try not to smoke indoors altogether.
- Consider buying child resistant lighters and match boxes.
- Make sure you have a working smoke detector installed in your home.
Would you like to be more fire safe in your home? Book a free Safe & Well Visit today, a crew will come to your home and to offer advice, and where appropriate, fire detection equipment free of charge http://bit.ly/SafeAndWellWS.
The most effective way to keep you and your home safe from a fire caused by smoking materials is to quit. Although this can be extremely challenging, there is help available through West Sussex Wellbeing.