Smoking kills

Fires caused by smoking materials (including cigarettes, roll-ups, cigars and pipe tobacco) result in more deaths than any other type of fire.

For every 1,000 accidental dwelling fires caused by smokers’ materials, 35 people were killed in 2012-13.

Fires from cigarette lighters and matches accounted for 11 fatalities in accidental dwelling fires in 2012-13. The injury rate is also highest for fires started by cigarette lighters.

By following the simple Blue Watch advice, the risks from smoking can be dramatically reduced.


Never smoke in bed

Avoid smoking while tired as this massively increases the chances of a lit cigarette falling from your hand and starting a fire.

Watch what you drink

Alcohol, drugs and medicines can affect your awareness and reduce your reaction time. This makes smoking even more dangerous. Take extra care when smoking after drinking alcohol or taking drugs or medication.

Use a proper ashtray

Always use a solid, heavy ashtray to minimise the risk of an ashtray tipping over. Even then, never leave a lit cigarette unattended in an ashtray.

Take care emptying an ashtray

Emptying the contents of an ashtray into a bin can cause it to catch fire. Allow an ashtray to cool down fully, and add a drop of water to ensure its contents will not cause a bin to melt or ignite.


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