Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters were called to a fire at a flat above a shop on Herbert Road in Woolwich.
Part of a flat on the first floor of the two-storey building was damaged by fire. There were no reports of any injuries.
The Brigade's fire investigators believe the fire was caused by the unsafe disposal of a cigarette.
Sub Officer Olly Desforges, who was at the scene, said: “We’d rather you didn’t smoke at all, but if you are a smoker, it’s absolutely vital you ensure your cigarette is completely out when you’ve finished smoking it.
“If you don’t, you risk causing a fire which could not only destroy your home, but also cost you your life.”
The Brigade was called at 1338 and the fire was under control by 1436. Fire crews from Plumstead and East Greenwich fire stations were at the scene.
Firefighters’ smoking safety tips:
• It's safer to smoke outside, but make sure cigarettes are put right out and disposed of properly.
• Never smoke in bed, and avoid smoking on arm chairs and sofas – especially if you think you might fall asleep.
• Take extra care when you’re tired, taking prescription drugs or if you’ve been drinking alcohol.
• Use proper ashtrays, which can’t tip over and stub cigarettes out properly.
• Don't balance cigars or cigarettes on the edge of an ashtray, or anything else – they can tip and fall as they burn away and cause a fire.
• Don’t leave lit pipes or cigarettes unattended.
• Always empty ashtrays carefully. Make sure smoking materials are out, cold and preferably wet them before throwing into a bin – never use a wastepaper basket.
• Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach, and buy child resistant lighters.
• Never smoke if you use healthcare equipment like medical oxygen or an air flow pressure relief mattress. If you use paraffin-based emollient creams, ask for non-flammable alternatives instead.
• Consider additional safety measures such as fire retardant bedding or nightwear.