Smoking is biggest blaze danger

FIRE chiefs are urging smokers to set themselves a challenge to quit on this year’s No Smoking Day.

Cleveland Fire Brigade say careless disposal of cigarettes is the biggest killer in house fires across the country and led to 18 fires last year in the brigade area, including seven where people were injured and one fatality.

To mark No Smoking Day tomorrow, people are being urged to quit take notice of a range of safety tips.

Tracey Bell, health and wellbeing services manager for Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Every year 106,000 people die from smoking-related illnesses in the UK and that’s bigger than the population of Hartlepool. Not only do we want to reduce the risk of fire for our residents but we want to promote healthier living and improve the local environment.

“For the two thirds of smokers who want to quit, help is available and statistics show you are four times more likely to succeed in quitting with the right help.

“We understand that some don’t want to or are finding it hard to break the addiction and we would urge them to take precautions to reduce the risk of fire when smoking.”

People are being urged to take extra care when they are tired as it is very easy to fall asleep while a cigarette is still burning, never smoke in bed, never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes, buy child-resistant lighters and matchboxes and make sure cigarettes are not still burning when they are finished.

People should also install and maintain a smoke alarm and they can get a free Home Fire Safety Visit, where firefighters will come to their home and give valuable safety advice.

They should call the brigade on (01429) 874063 to arrange a visit.