According to a recent report released by the NFPA, 540 civilian deaths in the United States were attributed to smoking material fires in 2011, a 30 year low that is well down from 1980 levels. In 2011, there were an estimated 90,000 smoking material fires resulting in $621 million in direct property damage.
The decline in smoking, the effect of standards and regulations that have made mattresses and upholstered furniture more resistant to cigarette ignition, and more recently, adoption of fire-safe cigarette requirements throughout the country, are factors the report credits with the 73 percent decrease in smoking material fire deaths over the past 31 years.
- Use a deep, sturdy ashtray. Place it away from anything that can burn.
- Before going to bed, check under furniture cushions and around places where people smoke for cigarette butts that may have fallen out of sight.
- Keep cigarettes, lighters, matches, and other smoking materials up high out of the reach of children, in a locked cabinet.
- Never smoke where medical oxygen is used. Medical oxygen can cause materials to ignite more easily and make fires burn at a faster rate than normal and can make an existing fire burn faster and hotter.
For more information about the report check out the official news release.