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 so quickly start a fire.
Take extra care when you're tired, taking prescription drugs or have been drinking alcohol. It's very easy to fall asleep without realising that your cigarette is still burning.
- If you need to lie down, don't light up. You could easily doze off and set your bed or sofa on fire.
- Don't leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended - they can easily overbalance as they burn down, land on a carpet or newspaper and start a fire. When you put it out, make sure it really is out.
- Every year children die after starting fires with cigarettes, matches and lighters which they shouldn't have been touching. Where possible, buy child-resistant lighters and matchboxes.
- Only use a proper, heavy ashtray which can't tip over easily and is made of a material that won't burn. It's a good idea to put ashtrays outdoors before you go to bed.