Put it out, right out, for No Smoking Day - March 10
Despite this shocking wake-up call, less than half (40%) of smokers are aware that smoking is the biggest cause of deaths in accidental house fires.2 In the last three years, Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) attended 195 smoking related accidental fires in the home and, as a result, 25 people were injured and five people lost their lives.
KFRS Community Safety Officers will be offering free fire safety advice alongside NHS Stop Smoking teams, encouraging smokers to cut out dangerous habits such as smoking in bed and to make sure they put properly extinguish their cigarettes. They will also be handing out free fire safety advice encouraging people to install smoke alarms on every level of the home and test them weekly.
A smoke alarm that works means you are more than twice as likely to survive an accidental house fire.
Head of Community Safety, Stuart Skilton, said: "Without a working smoke alarm you lose valuable escape time in a fire. Just two to three breaths of the toxic smoke in a fire can render you unconscious - it affects your ability to breathe, just like drowning."
"People need to be aware of the risks of smoking in the home and how smoking materials can very easily lead to fires. When extinguishing cigarettes, smokers must make sure they 'put it out, right out'."
The NHS offers every smoker free help to quit and encourages those who continue to smoke to make their homes smoke-free zones to protect loved ones from harmful second-hand tobacco smoke.
Dan Tickle, Chief Executive of the No Smoking Day Charity, 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, healthier and safer in your home."
For smokers not ready to kick the habit this No Smoking Day, it is important to follow these simple precautions to prevent a fire at home:
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