Improper disposal of smoking materials is one of the leading causes of structure fires and related deaths and injuries in the United States.
In 2014, an estimated 17,200 home fires were reported due to improper disposal of materials such as cigarettes, pipes and cigars, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Out of those fires, an estimated 570 deaths and 1,140 injuries were reported, the NFPA said.
If you are a smoker, it’s recommended that you only use fire-safe cigarettes and smoke outside. Fire officials have reported that most fires start in people’s living rooms, family rooms, dens or bedrooms, due to the improper disposal of smoking materials.
To avoid fires in relation to smoking materials, the NFPA has these recommendations:
- Keep cigarettes, lighters, matches, and other smoking materials up high and out of the reach of children
- Use a deep, sturdy ashtray. Place it away from anything that can burn
- Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation such as mulch, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, leaves or other things that could ignite easily
- Before you throw away butts and ashes, make sure they are out by dousing them in water or sand
Keep in mind, electronic cigarettes also pose a fire risk as battery failures can lead to small explosions. The NFPA recommends that you never leave an e-cigarette charging unattended.