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
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
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.).
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
- If you smoke, smoke
- 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