Smoking Related Fires

Facts and Figure

  • In 2001, there were an estimated 31,200 smoking-material fires in structures, 830 civilian deaths, 1,770 civilian injuries and $386 million in property damage. Of the fire deaths, 770 occurred in the home.
  • In Canada there were 3,800 fires in 1999 associated with smoking materials. These fires caused 120 civilian deaths, 260 civilian injuries and direct property damage of $58 million Canadian ($39 million U.S.).
  • The most common material first ignited in home smoking material-related fires was trash, followed by mattresses and bedding and upholstered furniture.

Source: NFPA’s The Smoking-Material Fire Problem, November 2004, by John R. Hall, Jr.

Safety Tips

  • Encourage smokers to smoke outside.
  • Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn (i.e., matresses, bedding, upolstered furniture, draperies, etc.).
  • Never smoke in bed or when you are drowsy, intoxicated, or medicated.
  • Use large, deep, non-tip ashtrays to prevent ashes from spilling onto furniture and check them frequently.  Do not rest ashtrays on sofas or chairs.
  • Completely douse butts and ashed with water before throwing them away as they can smolder in the trash and cause a fire.
  • Smoking should not be allowed in a home where oxygen is in use.
  • Whevener someone has been smoking in the home, ask them to keep smoking materials, lighters, and matches with them so young children so not touch them.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children’s sight and reach (preferably in a locked cabinet).