Are you a smoker or have family or friends that smoke? Did you know that careless smoking is one of the leading causes of fatal home fires? Common causes of fire due to smoking are carelessness when discarding smoking materials, intoxication and falling asleep. Even though your home is a place where you feel safe, it’s actually where most fires, deaths and injuries occur. However, smoking material fires are preventable.
What You Can Do as a Smoker
1. Smoke outside – Most home fires are caused by smoking materials started inside the home.
2. Don’t smoke if you are impaired by alcohol, medication or drugs.
3. Use large, deep ashtrays that can’t be knocked over. If it wobbles, it won’t work.
4. Make sure cigarettes butts and ashes are out by soaking them in water or sand. Avoid vegetation like mulch, potted plants, peat moss, dried grasses, leaves or other things that could ignite easily.
5. If people have been smoking in the home, check for cigarettes under cushions before going to bed.
6. Never smoke when using medical oxygen. It can cause materials to ignite more easily and make fires burn at a faster rate than normal.
Test Your Smoke Alarms
Do you have a working smoke alarm in your home? Ontario law requires every home to have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. For added protection, you can install a smoke alarm in every bedroom. Make sure to test your smoke alarm once a month as well as change the battery once a year or whenever the low-battery warning sounds.
Remember, fire prevention is your responsibility. You can prevent unnecessary loss of life and property damage resulting from careless smoking. For more information on how to protect you and your family from fire, visit mississauga.ca/portal/residents/homesafehome.