No Smoking Day
Despite the growth in popularity of alternatives, such as electronic cigarettes, as well as an improved attitude towards healthier living in recent years, it is still estimated that around 19% of all over 16s in the UK are regular smokers.
This means that No Smoking Day, an annual initiative run by the British Heart Foundation, continues to work to spread an important message about the dangers of cigarette use.
No Smoking Day & Fire Safety
It’s not just the health benefits that stopping smoking brings, however. The British Heart Foundation, organisers of No Smoking Day, are encouraging fire safety services to take advantage of the event by using it to highlight the associated risks of smoking in the home.
You may not think it, but lit cigarettes are the number one cause of fires in residential buildings across the UK – statistics suggest this figure to be around three per day in the London area alone. Whether this is through negligence of not putting out a cigarette properly, or using an unsuitable ashtray that may have flammable materials in it, the risk of a cigarette fire at home is always present.
As Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, explains: “Fire service crews play an essential role in raising awareness of the dangers of smoking in the home. Engaging the local community through No Smoking Day events is a great way to talk about fire safety, offer free smoke alarms or checks or take part in a local community event to help spread the word.”
It’s not just regular cigarettes that are being targeted, either. E-cigarettes are also a fire risk if used incorrectly. Using the wrong charger or mistreating a damaged battery presents a serious hazard – especially if left to charge overnight while asleep.
Many fire safety authorities have taken the initiative to support No Smoking Day. For example, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service are helping to raise awareness for the risks associated by encouraging smokers to ‘Put it Out, Right Out!’ referring both to quitting smoking altogether, and to extinguishing lit cigarettes correctly.