London Fire Brigade

Brigade issues killer warning to mark National No Smoking Day

07 March 2011

One in three deaths that occur in accidental house fires is caused by cigarettes or other smoking materials such as matches and cigars, says London Fire Brigade.

The warning is a stark reminder to people of the dangers of smoking as the country marks National No Smoking Day (Wednesday 9 March). Last year in London 14 people lost their lives in house fires caused by smoking materials and 121 people were injured, while since 2006 there have been 64 fatalities and around 700 injuries.

Dave Brown, Assistant Commissioner for the Brigade’s Operations and Mobilising Department said: “Smoking vastly increases the risk of having a fire in your home. If you are a smoker it is absolutely vital that you make sure your cigarette is completely out when you have finished it. If you don’t you are at risk of starting a fire that could destroy not only your home, but your life and the lives of your loved ones.

“Smoke alarms cost roughly the same price as a packet of cigarettes so if you are a smoker, financially there is no excuse for not having one. Make sure you’ve got a working smoke alarm on every level of your home. Smoke alarms provide vital early warning and buy you extra time to escape if there is a fire, and could save your life.”

London Fire Brigade has the following advice for smokers:

  • Put it out, right out - always make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished.
  • Take extra care when you’re tired or have been drinking alcohol. It’s very easy to fall asleep without realising that 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.
  • Fit and maintain a smoke alarm on each level of your home - 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.

Notes to editors
For more information and advice on giving up smoking and No Smoking Day visit: 
For further fire safety advice, go to