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Where’s There’s Smoke, There’s Fire

Careless disposal of smoking materials and cigarettes are a leading cause of fires. There are two main types of smoking material fires, those started n back decks and those in bark mulch. Both of these are caused by the improper disposal of smoking materials such as cigarette butts, ash, and by hot embers. By being aware of the fire hazards of smoking and taking safety precautions, a fire disaster can be prevented.

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Safety warning pertains not only to cigarettes but pipes, cigars, and any form of smoking use. Smoking materials fires are not limited to tobacco smoke either. Be safe with all types of smoking.

Fires on back decks of on homes are often caused by smoking materials being disposed of into combustible containers or the disposal containers not being emptied on a regular basis. Items are tossed into a combustible material type container and those items are ignited. These small fires then spread from their containers to the wood decks and siding of the home. Then the fire spreads to the house and can cause extensive damage quickly.

Bark mulch fires are caused simply by improper disposal of smoking materials into the fry, fine materials used to decorate our landscape in front of our homes and businesses. These fires are normally discovered when they are still small, but have the potential of causing a lot of damage to surrounding buildings and structures. The use of non-combustible ground cover in areas susceptible to careless disposal of smoking materials. These areas include along sidewalks, near business entry points, throughout apartment complexes and other public spaces.

General Safety & Smoking Materials:

-Dispose of smoking material into a non-combustible metal or clay container.

-Fill the container with sand or water to help extinguish the smoking materials but remember to ensure there is always water in the container and that the sand is not obstructed by too many butts.

-Before disposing of the materials, ensure they are cool to the touch.

-Do not leave ashtrays or smoking materials on combustible surfaces including furniture, vegetation, and combustible ground cover.

-Empty the cool smoking materials regularly to reduce the buildup of materials. Smoking materials themselves can become the combustibles the next cigarette ignites if not completely empties.

-When cleaning ashtrays, fill them with water-then empty them into the trash can. Even when a cigarette appears to be extinguished, there is still a chance that it may be smoldering.

-Play it extra safe and soak cigarette butts before disposing of them. Check under cushions for smoldering embers. A burning cigarette can smolder between the cushions of upholstered furniture and go unnoticed for as long as 5 hours!

-Help to protect elderly and handicapped smokers. When a person’s physical ability is impaired, there is a greater chance of clothing catching fire from a cigarette. Keep a watchful eye on elderly and handicapped persons who smoke, making sure they use deep ashtrays.

-Keep matches and cigarette lighters away from children. Matches and lighters are tools for adults only. They should. Be stored up high where young children can’t reach them. Teach kids to give any matches or lighters they find to adults.

Other Safety Considerations:

-Landlords should develop guidelines for smoking on their property and enforce them.

-Always follow and enforce designated smoking areas and do not smoke within 25 feet of buildings.

-Investigate unusual smoke smells.

-Consider no-smoking policies.

-Take an active role in ensuring smoking safety whether you smoke or not.

-Develop and practice a plan to escape your home in the event of a fire emergency.

There are literally no butts about it, cigarettes can cause fires, and how you dispose of your cigarette butts may make all the difference in the world. If you smoke, put it out. All the way. Every time.

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Fire FighterWhere’s There’s Smoke, There’s Fire

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