Return to Fire Prevention


October 8th – For years health professionals have warned against the dangers of smoking, including death.  Now it is the fire service’s turn.  Fires caused by smoking materials kill more people than any other fire.  Period.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “smoking materials; such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc., are the leading cause of fire deaths in the U.S.”  From 2002 to 2005, nearly 25% of all fire deaths could be attributed to smoking materials.  During the same time period, the NFPA estimates there were 82,400 smoking-material fires on average each year.  Those fires caused the deaths of 800 civilians and injured 1,660 civilians.

The NFPA reports the most common material first ignited in a home fire caused by smoking materials are bedding, mattresses, and upholstered furniture.

The NFPA also reports that older citizens have a higer risk or death or injury from a smoking-materials fire even though they are less likely to smoke than someone younger than them.

How Can I Prevent A Smoking-Material Fire in My Home?

Aside from giving up the smoking habit, there are other ways to make your home less prone to a smoking-materials fire.  The United State Fire Academy released these tips:

  • If you smoke, smoke outside.
  • Wherever you smoke, use deep, sturdy ashtrays.
  • Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out.
  • Check for cigarette butts.
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used.
  • If you smoke, fire safe cigarettes are better.