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Smoking and fire safety.

The safest way to smoke at home is to stop.

Smoking is a major cause of fire fatalities, and we all know the health risks. But if you know a smoker who won't quit, and you want to help them reduce the risks, read on... 

Smoking and fire prevention

Mark Hazelton, Group Manager of Community Fire Safety, says London Fire Brigade want people to stop smoking. He explains the risks in this short video.

Smoking and fire safety – essentials you need to know 

Smoking is the most common cause of fire fatalities – so here at London Fire Brigade, we believe that the best way to stay safe is to stub out the cigarettes for good. There's lots of support available to help you and your loved ones quit through NHS Smoke Free – and on 0300 123 1044.

Vaping vs. smoking 

For smokers who aren't ready to quit yet, e-cigarettes (vapes) are a better option from a fire safety perspective. Dropping a vape on a carpet, duvet or armchair won't start a fire. So if quitting completely isn't on the cards, it's a simple swap that can save lives.

Electronic cigarette safety tips

Only use the battery and charger provided with the e-cigarette.

  • Avoid leaving vapes on charge overnight.
  • Never use a damaged e-cigarette.
  • Never vape close to medical oxygen. 

It's also worth visiting the Fire safety at home – electrics page. 

Cigarette stub in silver ash tray

Are you worried about a smoker? 10 safety tips.

  1. It's safer to smoke outside, but make sure cigarettes are put right out and disposed of properly.
  2. Never smoke in bed, and avoid smoking on arm chairs and sofas – especially if you think you might fall asleep.
  3. Take extra care when you’re tired, taking prescription drugs or if you’ve been drinking alcohol.
  4. Use proper ashtrays, which can’t tip over and stub cigarettes out properly.
  5. 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.
  6. Don’t leave lit pipes or cigarettes unattended.  
  7. 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.
  8. Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach, and buy child resistant lighters.
  9. 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.  
  10. Consider additional safety measures such as fire retardant bedding or nightwear

 

Did you know? 6.3% of all fires are smoking-related – and 26.1% of fire deaths are smoking-related.

Firefighter explaining how to use a fire alarm to two elderly community members

Concerned about smoking and fire safety?

A free home fire safety visit is a good way to understand the risks and learn ways to stay safe.

Book a home fire safety visit

Help and resources

London Fire Brigade Home safety logo

Fire safety guide

Download PDF (3,682kb)

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