News release text
Dover fire crews are reminding residents to take extra care with cigarettes following a fire in Dover.
Crews were called to a ground floor flat in a three-storey building in Fulbert Road at 8.41am and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus tackled a fire in a bedroom.
A 48-year-old man suffering from smoke inhalation was given oxygen therapy by fire crews before being passed to the care of an ambulance crew.
It is believed the blaze was started by a cigarette, after the man fell asleep while smoking in bed. It set light to a mattress, leading to a fire that caused extensive damage to the bedroom and smoke damage to the rest of the flat.
Watch Manager Jamie Muddle said: “This incident highlights how dangerous it is to smoke in bed. It’s very easy to fall asleep without realising your cigarette is still burning, but this can lead to a serious fire in your home.
“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. We would advise all residents to ensure that all smoking materials are fully extinguished after use.”
Smokers are urged to follow these simple safety tips:
Don’t leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended – they can easily overbalance as they burn, land on a carpet or newspaper and start a fire. When you put it out, make sure it really is out
Use a deep, heavy ashtray which can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn
Don’t smoke in bed
Take extra care if you’re feeling tired, have been drinking alcohol or are taking prescription drugs
Close all inside doors at night – closed doors help to reduce the spread of fire, giving you more time to escape
Keep lighters and matches out of reach of children
Don't discard cigarettes out of car windows as this can set light to grass verges and
grassland areas and is illegal
Fit smoke alarms in your home and test them weekly.