Over the past two weeks in Kamloops, Kamloops Fire Rescue (KFR) has responded to three fires that were caused by smoking that could have easily resulted in fatalities. Two of these incidents were from smoking materials being discarded in planters. In one case, there were no working smoke alarms in the residence, and the occupant was alerted by someone passing by.
Smoking materials are one of the leading causes of fire deaths. Whether you smoke or have guests who smoke, follow these simple steps to reduce the risk of a smoking-related fire:
- It is better to smoke outside because furniture, bedding, and papers inside the home can catch fire from burning cigarettes.
- Keep a sturdy ashtray or bucket of sand handy for smokers. Do not discard your cigarettes in planters as they can smolder for days before they start a fire.
- Smoke only when you are alert. If you take medicine or get sleepy, don’t smoke.
- Never smoke near anyone who uses medical oxygen. If a fire starts, the oxygen will cause it to burn hotter and faster. There is no safe way to smoke when oxygen is in use.
KFR urges all residents to make sure they have working smoke alarms in their home to provide an early warning of smoke and fire. Learn more about smoke alarms and fire prevention tips at Kamloops.ca/HomeSafe.