News release text
Thames-side fire crews have issued a safety warning following a small fire in a bedroom last night (Thursday), believed to have been started by a discarded cigarette.
Two fire engines were called to Hampton Crescent just before 6pm and found that the homeowner, a man thought to be in his 40’s had been smoking in bed.
Thames-side Crew Manager, Lee Murray who attended the incident, said: “Fortunately, this was a fairly minor incident and the man escaped unhurt and with very little damage to his home.”
The cigarette set fire to a book on a bedside table but firefighters quickly put the fire out before ventilating the room with a positive pressure ventilation fan.
Lee added: “More people die in fires started through smoking than any other cause. Tobacco burns at very high temperatures – it’s designed to stay lit. This is why cigarettes can quickly start a fire, so make sure they are completely out before discarding them and install working smoke alarms on every floor of your home.”
“Property can be replaced but your life can’t, which is why we are urging people to take extra care; especially when they are tired and stop dangerous habits such as smoking in bed. It’s very easy to fall asleep without realising your cigarette is still burning. The message is simple; if you need to lie down, don’t light up. You could easily doze off and set your bed or sofa on fire.”
Follow these simple precautions to prevent a fire at home:
Put it out, right out! Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished
Fit smoke alarms and test them weekly - a working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999
Never smoke in bed, take care when you’re tired, taking any sort of drugs or have been drinking alcohol. It’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning!
Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended - they can easily overbalance as they burn down
Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn.
Close all inside doors at night - closed doors help to reduce the spread of fire, giving you more time to escape.
Ask the experts – for free home fire safety advice contact Kent Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 923 7000 or go to www.kent.fire-uk.org