Fires Caused By Cigarettes – Risk Of Fire Damage At Homes
We often talk about the harmful effects of smoking on health. It causes, among other things, lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and accelerated aging. But smoking can be the biggest fire hazard in an apartment or house, often less talked about. Each year, hundreds of fires are caused by negligence with cigarettes. In the best case, the damage is only material.
There’s a need to educate, advise and convince people who smoke to change their habits. Because whether you smoke on a regular or occasional basis, the risks of fatal household fires are very real. Their causes include the smoker’s tools, such as a lighter, coupled with their lack of vigilance. Let’s discuss how cigarettes cause fire and how it can be prevented!
How Cigarettes Cause Fire at Homes
From distraction to falling asleep, through ignorance or recklessness, here are some of the most common causes of household fires identified in recent years:
- Putting Ashes and Cigarettes in Garbage Bag: Put ashes and cigarette ends in an ashtray, not a garbage bag. If the cigarette is completely extinguished or sprayed with water, you can throw it in the garbage bag.
- Smoking in bed: Many people smoke in bed. The risk of falling asleep is high in bed, and one may sleep while their cigarette is still on. Since textiles and fabrics catch fire quickly, cigarette ashes that fall on the carpet or the bed sheet can cause a major fire.
- Glowing ash: It is often forgotten that cigarettes contain flammable agents that can continue to burn for up to 15 minutes without drafts, thus representing a constant fire danger.
- A child playing with a lighter, match, an ashtray, or even cigarettes.
- An unstable ashtray spilled onto a bed, armchair, sofa, or even on the floor.
- A lit cigarette placed or forgotten on a sofa, an armchair, or any other flammable surface
- A cigarette is smoked or placed too close to solvents or flammable products.
- An extinguished cigarette in a flowerpot, a balcony, or a flower bed containing all flammable elements and components.
- The lithium battery of an electronic cigarette overheats when charging, to the point of igniting a combustible material or even exploding.
Tips to Avoid Fires Caused by Cigarettes
If you are unwilling or unable to quit smoking at home, you can reduce the risk of a fire by following a few preventative measures:
Monitoring and Precautions
- Watch your cigarette until it is crushed. There is always a danger of fire when a cigarette is placed in an ashtray.
- Never smoke near flammable products, solvents, gas sources, pipes, or even explosive elements (e.g., fireworks). They are very often the cause of fires – even explosions – major.
- Always keep smoker’s items out of the reach of children, such as matches, lighters, cigarettes, a hot ashtray, etc. If they play with them while you are busy, there is danger!
- Teach your children to stay away from smoking items. Explain to them never to play with it, and introduce them to the dangers these objects can pose to the home.
Ashtray and Flower Pots
- Use an ashtray with high or flat rims that are wide enough, a deep tin can filled with wet sand, or a self-closing metal ashtray. This way, your cigarette will not risk falling out of the ashtray and starting a fire without your knowledge. In this regard, never forget to put out your cigarette before leaving the room.
- Place your ashtray on a stable surface, away from the edges if it is high, and of course, away from flammable items (curtains, towels, tablecloth, etc.).
- Before emptying your ashtray in the trash, always wet the ashes and cigarette ends there.
- Never throw your cigarette into a flowerpot, a balcony or a flower bed. Contrary to what one might think, they often contain several flammable elements and components. Common sources of fires, sometimes occurring several hours after the cigarette was dropped or crushed.
Drowsiness and Impairment
- Avoid smoking in bed at all times. Many fell asleep with their cigarettes still lit, sparking an unmanageable fire.
- Avoid smoking if you are impaired due to fatigue, alcohol, cannabis, or drugs that cause drowsiness. Falling asleep or lack of vigilance and responsiveness could be the worst.
Vaping (Electronic Cigarette)
- Do not overcharge the lithium battery of your electronic cigarette. Several fires and even explosions have been recorded since their launch.
- Always watch your electronic cigarette as it charges. So avoid leaving it plugged in when you sleep or leave the room or house.
- Always use the protective case of your electronic cigarette to transport it. Whether it’s in your bag, pouch, or just your pocket, an overcharged or faulty battery can ignite what’s in it.
Home Fire Protection Measures: The Three Essentials to Adopt Without Delay
In addition to the recommendations on the use of smoking articles, we would like to remind you of the three essential fire protection measures. Because if a fire were to break out, whatever the cause, we must always be able to face it.
- Install smoke alarms, charged and well placed. Install them on the ceiling of each floor, including the basement, ideally in the middle of rooms or hallways.
- Buy an accessible and functional portable fire extinguisher and store it in an easily and quickly accessible place close to exits from the house.
- Always keep a well-established evacuation plan practiced with the family. Identify the most easily and quickly accessible emergency exits and always ensure that these outlets are clear.
Causes, advice and protective measures, we hope this article better informed you about the risks of fires caused by cigarettes. However, these incidents are impossible to prevent completely. So, in case of a fire, do not delay in contacting fire and smoke damage restoration services once you ensure you and your family are safe. 911 Restoration of Cincinnati is at the services of Chico residents in case of fire eruption at home or offices to provide the best fire damage restoration services.