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Smoking fire safety advice

Every six days, someone in the UK dies from a fire caused by a cigarette and over the past few years, we’ve had a number of fires in our properties caused by smoking in the home. So, if you or anyone else in your household smokes, it’s worth reading through the smoking fire safety advice below, to ensure you stay safe in your home.

Where to smoke safely

One of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of a fire caused by smoking is to have a smoke-free home – choosing to smoke outside of your property and making sure that others do the same. Even if this is on your front doorstep or in your garden, this can significantly reduce the chances of starting a fire in your home. Please don’t smoke on balconies as this is a fire hazard.

If you do keep any smoking materials in your home (such as cigarettes, lighters, matches etc.), make sure that they are kept out of the reach of children, in a locked cabinet, to avoid any accidents.

When to smoke safely

You shouldn’t smoke when you don’t have control over the cigarette, which might be the case if you’ve taken medication, drugs or drunk any alcohol that makes you tired or drowsy.

When you feel this way, it’s easy to fall asleep with a cigarette burning and set furniture, clothes or bedding alight. If you do smoke whilst feeling drowsy, avoid smoking indoors entirely – especially in bed!

Putting out your cigarette safely

When you’re extinguishing your cigarette, take extra care to make sure that it has been put out fully. Don’t leave cigarettes, cigars or pipes lying around – they can easily fall over and start a fire.

Instead, use a deep, sturdy ashtray that won’t tip over and keep it away from other flammable materials. It can also help to keep a small amount of water at the bottom of the ashtray to ensure that the cigarette has been fully extinguished.

When emptying the contents of an ashtray, make sure that the ashes are cold before being emptied into a suitable bin outdoors. You could potentially pour some water over the contents as well.

And finally…

Make sure you have home contents insurance, so your household possessions are protected. No matter how careful you are, there’s always a risk that your belongings could be broken, damaged or stolen - home contents insurance can help provide peace of mind.

To help you decide if this insurance is right for you, we've teamed up with Thistle Tenant Risks and Ageas Insurance Limited. They provide the 'My Home Contents Insurance Scheme' - designed specifically for people living in rented homes.

The scheme can offer you insurance for the contents of your home, including furniture, carpets, curtains, clothes, bedding, electrical items, jewellery, pictures and ornaments.

Where can you get further information?

  • Call Thistle Tenant Risks on 0345 450 7288
  • Visit for more information or to request a call back.

For more fire safety advice, visit our fire safety page on the VIVID website or the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service website.