Improperly discarded smoking materials is one of the leading cause of fire in Fairfax County. So far in 2019, there have been seven fires caused by improperly discarded smoking materials! Monetary damages for the seven fires was approximately $231,425!
All seven fires were totally preventable! In two of the fires, the presence of fire sprinklers undoubtedly saved lives and property. Another fire necessitated the rescue of an eleven-year-old child by firefighters which averted tragedy.
If you smoke, please take a moment to learn how to prevent starting a fire. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department urges all residents who smoke to “Sink It or Soak It!” and prevent careless fires!
- Never dispose of cigarette butts in potted planting soil. The soil, when it gets too dry, can become highly flammable.
- Never flick cigarettes into mulch or shrubbery. Dispose of them in a suitable ashtray or bucket with sand. Ensure designated outside smoking areas have an appropriate fireproof container, ashtray or bucket.
- Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Provide large, deep ashtrays with a center support for smokers. Check furniture for any dropped ashes before going to bed. Empty ashes into a fireproof container with water and sand.
- Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn (i.e., mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, draperies, etc.).
- Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
- If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes. They are less likely to cause fires.
- To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you must be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.
- Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children’s sight and reach.
Learn more about some of the recent fires: