Home is where the heart is, unfortunately it is also where a person may be more likely to die in a fire. More house fires are caused by cooking equipment, but smoking materials, such as cigarettes, cigars, and pipes, caused more home fire deaths.
During 2007-2011, 43% of house fires happened in the kitchen and resulted in approximately 17% of home fire deaths. Smoking materials caused a substantially lower number of structure fires (5%), but they resulted in the highest number of fire deaths at 22%. These smoking material fires are usually started in the trash, in bedding or in furniture; however, the most fatal of these fires start in the living room, family room or den where a smoker was sitting on upholstered furniture.
Fires started by smoking are “the number one cause of home fire deaths,” and are preventable. You can protect yourself and your family by following these simple rules:
– Only smoke outside, and ask family and friends who are smokers to do the same.
– Provide sturdy ashtrays in your smoking spot and
– Discard the matches and butts into a can of water or pail of sand to make sure they are completely put out.
You can also protect your family by checking your smoke alarms every month and changing batteries twice a year, when you move your clock back in the fall and forward in the spring. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.