Careless disposal of smoking materials and cigarettes can cause fires to occur unnecessarily. Most smoking fires start in the bedroom, living room or office when cigarettes or burning embers are dropped on upholstered furniture, bedding or into rubbish containers.
Before leaving a room where people have been smoking, carefully check between lounge chair crannies and under cushions. A cigarette can smoulder in furniture and go unnoticed for up to five hours and still cause a fire.
Be especially watchful of any smoker who is drinking alcohol or is sick in bed and may be smoking.
Keep a watchful eye on the elderly or handicapped person who smokes. Being physically impaired can increase the likelihood of smoking material causing a fire.
Face the facts
- Not allowing smoking in the home is the safest way to prevent fires;
- If you do smoke inside the home have plenty of ashtrays available;
- Do not let bulbs touch anything that can burn easily, like paper or other decorations;
- Ashtrays that are large and deep are the safest;
- When cleaning and empting ashtrays into the bin, make sure all cigarette butts are completely extinguished;
- Never smoke in bed;
- Keep matched and lighters away from children;
- Teach children to inform an adult of the location of any matches and lighters they find; and
- Always have a working smoke alarm in your home, especially if people smoke inside.
Smoking fact sheet [.PDF 340KB]