Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

If you’re going to smoke, do it safely

smokingWith No Smoking Day coming up (March 13th 2013), the internet is bound to be flooded with articles that stress the health risks of both smoking and being exposed to second hand smoke.

But last year’s government statistics shed light on another worrying issue.

According 2011 – 2012 statistics, smoking materials was the second largest source of ignition in house fires, topped only by cooking appliances. The University of St Andrews also list ‘cigarettes’ and ‘matchers/lighters’ as two of the five top causes for workplace fires.

Though we don’t advocate smoking, we aren’t going to urge anybody to kick the habit this year – plenty of other people will do that. Instead, we’re going to ask smokers to be more mindful of the fire safety risks when lighting up at home and at work.

At work

Smoking indoors has been prohibited in all UK workplaces since July 2007, but still there are some risks.

If you smoke, please stay within the designated area, away from any materials that could be ignited.

Please ensure that you extinguish cigarettes in proper ash trays that won’t burn or tip over easily.

Don’t dispose of cigarette butts by throwing them in a general waste bin or by tossing them over a fence – you never know where they’ll land or what they could ignite.

At home

Worryingly, home fires caused by cigarettes result in more deaths than any other type of fire.

Never smoke when you are sleepy or when you are in bed as there is a greater likelihood that you will fall asleep with a lit cigarette. U.S statistics from 2006 to 2010 show that fires where a mattress or bedding was the first item ignited resulted in the second highest number of civilian deaths (13%).

It’s also important that you use a proper ash tray that won’t burn up tip over easily.

Before emptying to contents of your ash tray into the bin, add a drop of water to the ash then leave the mixture to cool down.

Take extra care if you’ve been drinking and taking medication.

Author Bio

Natasha Sabin is an avid blogger and fire safety enthusiast. She’s been let loose by Fire Safety Suppliers to share new, exciting, and somewhat disturbing developments in the world of fire. Visit

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