SMOKERS are being warned about the dangers of discarded cigarettes following house fires in Warwickshire
A fire in a ground floor flat residential care facility in Exhall was believed to have been caused by the disposal of cigarette ends in a plastic bin. A man was rescued by firefighters and other elderly residents also had to be evacuated. Thankfully, occupants were alerted to the fire by the smoke alarm system, so there were no serious injuries.
And in Nuneaton a fire started in the living room of a third floor flat. There were five people asleep in the property at the time and they were woken by a smoke alarm.
Following an investigation, it is believed the most likely cause of the fire was a discarded cigarette end. Again no one was injured.
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service (WFRS) chief fire officer Kieran Amos, said: “If you are a smoker, make sure you dispose of cigarettes safely by using an ashtray or soaking cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away.
“Never put hot cigarette butts in a bin and avoid smoking in bed, especially if you’re feeling drowsy or falling asleep.
“These recent incidents demonstrate again that it is vitally important that everyone has a working smoke alarm on every level of their home. This will give you the early detection you need to get out, stay out and call 999.”
WFRS advise smoke detectors are best installed in hallways and landings and they should also be placed near to sleeping areas and in rooms where there are electrical appliances.
County community safety spokesman Coun Andy Crump added: “We hope that sharing the details and causes of these fires will encourage the community to improve or change their fire safety habits – it’s easy to put off the simplest of tasks but it takes just moments to take actions like testing a smoke alarm.
“WFRS are here to keep you and your loved ones safe, so take action now and make sure that you have working smoke alarms and a planned escape route. A working smoke alarm could give you those precious few extra minutes to escape safely with your loved ones in the event of a fire, as we have seen with both of these incidents”