It’s well documented and reported that smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, and is a major contributor to public health problems, but something that isn’t often discussed is the role of smoking in house fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoking materials, such as cigarettes and pipes, are the leading cause of fire deaths in the U.S.
This astounding statistic is easier to comprehend when considering just how frequently tobacco users smoke. Every butt that sits unextinguished in an ash tray is a risk for a home fire, particularly if the individual who smoked it falls asleep or walks away, leaving it unattended.
These hazards affect not only the person who consumes cigarettes, but anyone living in or occupying the residence. One in four deaths caused by cigarette-related fires was a family member or friend of the smoker. Thirty-four percent of such deaths were the children of the person who lit up.
With all of this in mind, the easiest way to prevent these disasters is to quit smoking. But if you decide to continue, there are steps you can take to ensure that your home remains undamaged and your loved ones stay unharmed:
- Don’t smoke in bed. Falling asleep while a cigarette butt burns next to the mattress is extremely dangerous.
- Smoke outside. Smoking inside greatly increases the risk of sparking a fire.
- Use water or sand to put out a cigarette. Tossing it on the ground or in the bushes puts your home at greater risk of disaster.
In addition, consider investing in a residential fire alarm service from an Atlanta alarm company, which can help alert you to the presence of smoke and flames before it is too late. Contact American Alarm at (770) 645-0061 for more information.