As a member of the fire service, you know all too well the dangers of unattended or improperly discarded smoking materials. These free resources are yours to use when educating smokers about the importance of practicing fire safety.
Emerging issue: electronic cigarette (e-cigs) fires and explosions. Although fires and explosions caused by electronic cigarettes are rare, more than 2.5 million Americans are using them, and this number is growing rapidly. Read this overviewPDF 899 KB about how e-cigs work, recent fire and explosion incidents, and why most incidents occur while the battery is charging.
Statistics to share
There are about 7,600 smoking-related fires in homes each year.
Smoking is a leading cause of home fire deaths.
The death rate per 1,000 fires is more than seven times greater in smoking-related home fires than in nonsmoking-related fires.
Sixty-seven percent of smoking-related home fires happen when smoking materials, like cigarettes, are not put out properly.
Twenty-four percent of smoking-related home fires begin in the bedroom.
It is important for smokers to know the steps they can take to keep themselves and their families safe from fire. Put these fire safety messages into your own words when talking to people about smoking and fire safety.
The safest place to smoke is outside of the home. Use a sturdy ashtray or a can filled with sand to collect ashes.
Use ashtrays with a wide, stable base that are hard to tip over. If it wobbles, it won’t work.
Ashtrays should be set on something sturdy and hard to start on fire, like a table.
Put it out. All the way. Every time. The cigarette needs to be completely stubbed out in the ashtray.
Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. NEVER toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash.
Don’t put ashtrays on sofas and chairs. Chairs and sofas catch on fire fast and burn fast. If people have been smoking in your home, check for cigarettes under cushions.
NEVER smoke while using oxygen or anywhere near an oxygen source, even if it is turned off. Oxygen makes any fire burn hotter and faster.
If you are drowsy or falling asleep, put it out. Smoking in bed is very dangerous.
Outreach materials from the U.S. Fire Administration
Public service announcement: smoking and fire safety
Social media messages
Smoking is a leading cause of home fire deaths. Help increase awareness with these free materials http://www.usfa.fema.gov
Smoking is a leading cause of home fire deaths. You can prevent fires caused by careless smoking! Smoke outside. Use deep, sturdy ashtrays. Always make sure cigarettes are put out completely. Never smoke in bed. For more information on smoking and fire safety, visit www.usfa.fema.gov
Use our free high-resolution photos to customize your materials and help spread the word in your community about smoking and fire safety.
Fire Prevention and Public Education Exchange
The Exchange serves as a centralized location for national, state and local fire prevention and life safety practices and public education materials that organizations may wish to share with other communities. Visit the Exchange
Outreach materials from other organizations
USFA recommends the following organization as a trusted and reliable source for free outreach materials you can use to help increase awareness about smoking and fire safety in your community.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) – statistics, reports, a reproducible safety tip sheet and a public service announcement about smoking fire and fire safety. The National Fire Protection Association helps to reduce fire loss through consensus codes and standards, research, training and education.