Fires caused by the improper disposal of cigarettes and other smoking materials are the No. 1 cause of home fire deaths in the United States.
The O’Fallon Fire Protection District responded to several house fires caused by the improper disposal of smoking materials.
These fires are preventable if you follow these tips from the National Fire Protection Association:
- Only use fire-safe cigarettes.
- Before you throw away cigarette butts or ashes, douse them in water or sand to make sure they are fully extinguished.
- Dispose of all ashes in a metal container placed at least 6 feet away from any buildings.
- Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation such as mulch, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, leaves or other things that could ignite easily, or on the driveway, deck or other outdoor areas that aren’t enclosed.
- If you smoke, smoke outside. If you choose to smoke inside, make sure to check under furniture cushions and in other places people smoke for cigarette butts that may have fallen out of sight before leaving the room.
- Always be alert when smoking. Never smoke in bed, or while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
- Keep cigarettes, lighters, matches, and other smoking materials up high and out of the reach of children.
- Use a deep, sturdy ashtray on a steady surface; place it away from anything that can burn.
- Never smoke and never allow anyone to smoke where medical oxygen is being used.
If you smoke, put it out — all the way, every time!