London Fire Brigade

Preventing smoking related fires

Smoking is the most common cause of fire deaths in the home and while measures can be taken to reduce the dangers, our advice is simple: quit and you significantly reduce your chances of dying in a fire.

For help and advice to quit smoking call the NHS Smoke Free helpline on 0800 022 4332 or visit the NHS Smoke Free website.

If you or someone else smokes in your home, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce the risk.

Safety advice for smokers

  • Make sure you have smoke alarms fitted in every room you regularly use in your home including in the hallways. 
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Always ensure you stub out cigarettes properly and dispose of them carefully.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of children's reach.
  • Never leave lit cigarettes or cigars unattended.
  • Empty ashtrays carefully, ensuring all smoking materials are stubbed out and cold.
  • If you must smoke, do it outdoors.

Safety advice for smokers with mobility impairments

If you have mobility issues you may have additional difficulties in escaping a fire.

We recommend using fire retardant bedding and installing personal protective systems, which is a self-contained portable system that sprays a mist of water to suppress a fire, in a similar way to how a traditional sprinkler system works, in areas where you are likely to fall asleep e.g. above the bed and over any chairs or settees.

Safety advice for smokers who use emollients

If you use paraffin-based emollient creams, always keep away from fire, flames and cigarettes. If you smoke, you should ask your doctor for a non-flammable alternative cream.

You should also take care with any clothing, dressing or bedding that you have come into contact with as the ointment may have transferred onto the material and could easily be ignited.

Safety advice for smokers receiving oxygen treatment

Never smoke while using oxygen. Oxygen is a fire hazard and can easily ignite.

If you have oxygen treatment in your home you should take a number of precautions, including:

Book a Home Fire Safety Visit

Our firefighters will visit you in your home and offer you bespoke advice tailored to your property to help keep you safer. You may also be eligible to have free smoke alarms fitted.



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