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SMOKING & DEATHS BY FIRE
November 13, 2009
(OLYMPIA, WA) -- Approximately 1,000 people are killed every year from smoking-related home fires, making smoking the number one cause of preventable home fire deaths in the United States.
In 2009 so far, four smoking-related fire fatalities have been reported in Washington State.
Smoking-caused fires may not only kill the smoker as non-smokers lives can also be put at risk, including young children that live in the home.
“A lit cigarette accidentally dropped onto a chair or bed can cause a fire that can change your life and that of others forever. Putting out a cigarette the right way only takes seconds,” says State Fire Marshal Mike Matlick. “Make sure your cigarette is put out, all the way, every time.”
The Office of the State Fire Marshal offers the following smoking fire safety tips:
If you smoke…
· Purchase reduced ignition propensity cigarettes with the symbol FSC marked on the package.
· Smoke outside. Use deep, sturdy ashtrays and make sure cigarettes and ashes are fully extinguished.
· Never smoke in sleeping areas, while on medications or in a home where medical oxygen is used.
Protect you, your loved ones, and your home from fire.
· Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area.
· Plan and practice an evacuation drill with all members of your family.
· Install residential fire sprinklers in your home.
Consider not smoking
· Washington’s Tobacco Quit Line, 1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-800-784-8669, is available to assist you with quitting smoking. Quit coaches can provide free quit kits and nicotine patches or gum, if appropriate. They can also help develop a quit plan tailored for each person's unique needs and challenges.