Fire chiefs’ warning to smokers

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FIRE chiefs have urged smokers to take caution as they aim to reduce the risk of blazes in the home.

Cleveland Fire Brigade is urging residents who smoke to follow their important advice going into the new year.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of common causes of house fires.

One of the Brigade’s six key campaign messages is stub cigarettes out fully, and don’t smoke in bed.

In the last year, 30 fire incidents across the Tees Valley were caused by smoking, seven of which involved smoking in bed and 10 were the result of careless disposal.

The safety tips are:

l Make sure you stub your cigarette out fully when you have finished;

l Never smoke in bed – if you feel sleepy or need to lie down, do not light up as by dozing off you could set your bed on fire;

l Never leave cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended as when they burn down they can easily overbalance and start a fire;

l If you are tired, have had a festive drink or take medication that can make you drowsy, take extra care. It is very easy to fall asleep without realising your cigarette is still burning;

l Wet contents of ash trays before emptying them into a metal bin outside the home. Do this regularly;

l Never tip ash into a wastebasket;

l Keep all matches and lighters out of the reach of children. Where possible, buy child-resistant lighters and matchboxes.

For further information on safety in the home, visit www.clevelandfire.gov.uk or call (01429) 874063 to arrange a home safety visit.