To coincide with No Smoking Day local firefighters are pleading with smokers to ‘pack it in’ describing the practice of smoking in the home as ‘a time bomb’ while the government has announced that cigarettes may have to be sold in unbranded packets in future – a practice last seen in the soviet union.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service say they are tired of having to deal with the consequences of thoughtless smokers and that the careless disposal of cigarettes is the single biggest killer in house fires in the country.
Habits such as smoking whilst drinking alcohol in the home or lighting up in bed are responsible they claim for 36% of all accidental house fires resulting in deaths in England and they are urging smokers – who still make up 20% of the adult population – to realise the deadly dangers of lighting up in the home.
Meanwhile the government has announced a series of measures to discourage people from smoking.
Cigarettes and tobacco products will have to be sold ‘under the counter’ from 2012 for supermarkets and 2015 for small shops.
A consultation will also be launched on whether manufacturers should be forced to put cigarettes into plain unbranded packets.
The Fire and Rescue service have issued the following safety guidelines to smokers:
- Put it out, right out! Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished
- 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, combined with cigarettes and this could be lethal
- 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