Smoking fire-risk warning after house fire in Blaenau FfestiniogPosted
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is highlighting the risks associated with smoking in the home following the house fire earlier this week in Blaenau Ffestiniog.
The most likely cause of the fire has been determined to be from a cigarette lighter accidentally dropped whilst the resident was smoking in bed.
A 70 year old man remains poorly in hospital after being rescued whilst unconscious from the property.
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service received reports of a fire in the attic of the terraced property on the High Street at 02.43hrs on Monday 18th May.
Crews from Blaenau Ffestiniog and Porthmadog attended the incident. Another occupant, a 68 year old woman, had been alerted to the fire by a smoke detector and made her own way of the house to safety. She was treated by the Ambulance Service at the scene.
Firefighters using breathing apparatus and a hose reel jet entered the house and located the man in the second floor attic. He was then taken to hospital by ambulance.
Stuart Millington, Senior Fire Safety Manager, said: "This incident clearly highlights the dangers of not taking care when smoking in the home and ensuring that cigarettes are extinguished properly.
"It is vital to make sure all smoking materials are put out safely, especially before bed time.
"The best way to cut the risk is not to smoke indoors at all. Many smoking related fires, just like this one, happen at night when people fall asleep or smoke in bed and furniture or fabrics are set alight - the stark reality of this is that people risk never waking up.
"Worryingly, research shows that smokers are less likely than non-smokers to have working smoke alarms which could alert them to the dangers and give the chance of escape.
"If you have elderly relatives or friends who are smokers, make them aware of the possible dangers - follow our advice to help cut the risk of a smoking related fire in the home."
Fire and rescue service advice:
- * Take extra care when you're tired, taking any sort of drugs or have been drinking alcohol. It's very easy to fall asleep without while your cigarette is still burning
- * Never smoke in bed - if you need to lie down, don't light up. You could doze off and set your bed on fire
- * Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended - they can easily overbalance as they burn down
- * Buy child-resistant lighters and matchboxes - every year children die by starting fires with matches and lighters. Keep these where children can't reach them
- * Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can't tip over easily and is made of a material that won't burn. Make sure your cigarette is not still burning when you are finished - put it out, right out
- * Tap your ash into an ashtray, never a wastebasket containing other rubbish - and don't let the ash or cigarette ends build up in the ashtray
- * Install and maintain a smoke alarm - when a fire starts, you only have a few minutes to escape. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and dial 999. You can get a basic smoke alarm for the same price as a packet of cigarettes. Better still are those smoke alarms with long-life batteries or are mains-powered.
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service offers free home fire safety checks, where a member of the Service will visit your home, give fire safety hints and tips, help you to formulate a fire escape plan and fit new alarms.
To register for a free home fire safety check, please call the bilingual 24 hour free hotline on 0800 169 1234 or visit www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk .