No Smoking Day is the ideal occasion to remember how dangerous smoking can be in the home

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Smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK.

Accidental fires started by cigarettes and other smoking materials still kill more people than any other type of fire.

In Herefordshire and Worcestershire, between 1 Jan 2012 and 31 Dec 2021, 256 accidental fires were caused by smoking materials.

The most common cause was careless handling when disposing of them, involving 161 incidents, as well as another 31 incidents that took place when asleep or unconscious. The most common location was the living room, with 55 incidents, and another 51 in the bedroom.

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service is therefore reminding smokers to always be vigilant when smoking or disposing of smoking materials.

Emma Roberts, HWFRS Head of Prevention, said:

“No Smoking Day on 9 March provides us at Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service with the ideal opportunity to encourage people to consider giving up smoking, or at least to remember to dispose safely of smoking products.”

“Quitting smoking altogether is obviously the best way to remove the risk of having a cigarette/smokers’ material-related fire. But if you do smoke, then please remember to ensure you put your Cigarettes Out, Right Out.

“Remember the caption: ‘Put it out. Right out.’

Here are some useful tips to avoid smoking related fires:

· if you aren’t ready to give up, take precautions to prevent a fire

· always ensure that cigarettes are fully extinguished

· never smoke in bed

· use a proper ashtray – never a wastepaper basket

· make sure your ashtray can’t tip over and is made of a material that won’t burn

· don’t leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe lying around. They can easily fall over and start a fire

· take extra care if you smoke when you’re tired, taking prescription drugs, or if you’ve been drinking. You might fall asleep and set your bed or sofa on fire

· keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach

You can get advice and guidance about fire safety in the home at Safety and advice | Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (