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National No Smoking Day - 11 March 2020

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Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is supporting this year’s National No Smoking Day which takes place on Wednesday 11 March.

While the focus of the day is traditionally on encouraging people to stop smoking, for its part, the Service will be promoting the fire hazards associated with smoking and what smokers can do to minimise these risks.

Station Commander Amy Bailey from the Community Risk department at HWFRS explained: “Between April 2010 to March 2019, 465 fires were ignited by smoking materials, that’s 2.47% of the total number of fires attended by HWFRS. This equates to 47 fires a year – that’s almost one per week on average.

“These statistics are concerning and we hope to use National No Smoking Day to highlight the far-reaching impact that smoking can have, and to encourage smokers to adopt safer habits to help minimise the risk of a fire in their home.”

She urged smokers to follow these simple precautions to avoid a fire in their home:

  • Put it out, right out! Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished, and be extra vigilant when leaving the house or going up to bed at night.
  • Fit a smoke alarm and test it weekly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Never smoke in bed. Take care when you’re tired. It’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and set furniture alight.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol when smoking. It’s easy to lose your concentration when using any sort of drugs or drinking alcohol, and the risk can be greater again when combined with cigarettes.
  • Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended - they can easily overbalance as they burn down.
  • Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn.