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More people die in fires caused by smoking than in fires caused by anything else. Tobacco is manufactured to stay alight, meaning it can remain smouldering and start a fire.

Safety tips if you smoke

Cigarettes burn at 700ºC and contain chemicals which keep them alight. Follow these safety tips to avoid causing a fire:

  • never smoke in bed – it’s very easy to fall asleep and allow your cigarette to set light to your bedclothes or furnishings
  • don’t smoke if you’re drowsy – especially if you’re sitting in a comfortable chair or if you’ve been drinking or taking prescription drugs
  • don’t leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe lying around – they can easily overbalance and land on the carpet or other flammable material
  • make sure your ashtray is heavy and can’t tip easily
  • make sure your cigarette butts (and any remains in your pipe bowl) aren’t still smouldering when you’ve finished with them; wet them and empty your ashtray into a metal bin outside the house
  • keep lighters, matches and smoking materials out of the reach of children – you can also buy child-resistant lighters and containers for matches

Quit smoking
If you would like to quit smoking, call the NHS Stop Smoking Helpline on 0800 1690169 or visit the Go Smoke Free website

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