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Fire Kills - Put it out, right out graphicIt only takes one carelessly discarded cigarette to start a fatal fire in your home. Careless disposal of cigarettes, cigars, matches and lighters are the single biggest killer in house fires across Oxfordshire and the country.  

If you are a smoker it is essential that you understand how dangerous smoking at home can be.

Smoke outside

  • Avoid the danger of a fire starting inside the home by only smoking outside.
  • This helps other family members avoid passive smoking.

If you smoke indoors

  • Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully.  Put them right out!
  • 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.
  • Use a proper, heavy ashtray which can't tip over easily and is made of a material that won't burn.
  • Tap your ash into an ashtray. Never a wastebasket and don't let the ash or cigarette ends build up in the ashtray.
  • 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.

Matches and lighters

  • Every year children die from starting fires with cigarettes, matches and lighters which they shouldn't have. Keep these where children can't reach them
  • Where possible, buy child-resistant lighters and matchboxes.

E-cigarettes

E-cigarettes use a rechargeable battery. Nationally there have been a number of incidents of the battery either overheating or exploding during the charging process. If you use an e-cigarette:

  • Purchase your e-cigarette from a reputable source.
  • Check the e-cigarette carries CE certification.
  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Only use the charger supplied.
  • Never leave it unattended when it’s on charge.
  • Don’t overcharge. Remove the battery from charge when it’s complete.
  • Check your battery has overcharge or overheat protection.
  • If the battery is damaged or has been dropped or struck don’t charge it.
  • Don't use your e-cigarette if it is wet.
  • Don’t overtighten the atomiser when connecting it to the charger.

Other top tips

  • Fit a smoke alarm and test it weekly. Working smoke alarms could buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Make an escape plan. Sit down and make an escape plan with family members so that everyone knows what to do if there is a fire at home.

Ready to give up?

If you’re ready to quit take the first step and contact Smokefree Life Oxfordshire. Text quit to 667777, visit your GP surgery or go to www.smokefreelifeoxfordshire.co.uk