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Smoking material-related fires  
Smoking materials (i.e., cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc.) are the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States. Roughly one of every four fire deaths in 2003 was attributed to smoking materials.

 Fire-Safe Cigarettes: The Time Is Now
Cigarettes are the leading cause of U.S. home fire fatalities. The Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes,  coordinated by NFPA, is calling for cigarette manufacturers to immediately produce only cigarettes that adhere to an established safety performance standard. Please sign our online petition.

USFA and NFPA Release Report on Behavioral Mitigation of Smoking Fires
Acting United States Fire Administrator Charlie Dickinson and NFPA President and Chief Executive Officer James Shannon have announced the completion of a report on Behavioral Mitigation of Smoking Fires. (PDF, 5 MB) The report is the result of a USFA partnership with NFPA to develop sound, research-based recommendations for behavioral mitigation strategies to reduce smoking fire fatalities in the United States.



Facts & figures


  • In 2003, there were an estimated 25,600 smoking-material structure fires in the United States. These fires caused 760 civilian deaths and 1,520 civilian injuries.
  • Older adults are at the highest risk of death or injury from smoking-material fires even though they are less likely to smoke than younger adults.
  • The most common material first ignited in home smoking-material fire deaths were mattresses and bedding, upholstered furniture, and floor covering.
  • In Canada there were 3,800 fires in 1999 associated with smoking materials. These fires caused 120 civilian deaths, 260 civilian injuries and direct property damage of $58 million Canadian ($39 million U.S.).

Source: NFPA's report, "The Smoking Material Fire Problem," John R. Hall, Jr., August 2006.
All visitors: Download this report for free, or download the table of contents and executive summary for free(PDF, 34 KB)




Safety tips


  • If you smoke, smoke outside.
  • Use deep, wide ashtrays on a sturdy table.
  • Before you throw out butts and ashes, make sure they are out, and dousing in water or sand is the best way to do that.
  • Check under furniture cushions and in other places people smoke for cigarette butts that may have fallen out of sight.
  • 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 have to 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

Updated 8/06


URL: http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?catagoryID=294&itemID=19303&URL=Research%20&%20Reports/Fact%20sheets/Home%20safety/Smoking%20material-related%20fires&cookie%5Ftest=1

NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)
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