Lincolnshire Fire Service issues cigarette warning

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People have been warned not to smoke in the home when tired or while drinking after it was revealed that every fatal house fire in the county last year was caused by cigarettes.

Figures revealed by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service show that while the total number of accidental dwelling fires fell to 212 compared with 365 in 2011 and 380 in 2010, fatalities rose from one to three. The service said that often these fires were started by people who fell asleep as they were smoking.

The figures show that last year one in 13 accidental fires in the home were caused by smoking materials. Debbie Robinson, deputy community fire safety manager, said: “These accidental fires often start when people are at their most vulnerable, which is why they are so often fatal.

“So, we are trying to encourage people to not smoke when feeling tired, especially in bed or lounging in a chair. And to remember that if they have been drinking alcohol or taking medication, they may feel drowsy.”

The fire service advised smokers to always use an ashtray, never smoke in bed and make sure the contents of ashtrays were completely extinguished.