Whether you live in Maryland, Virginia or across the United States, taking safety precautions apply to all smokers.
Fire risk from smoking materials are still the leading cause of fire deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
NFPA recommends some safety precautions that homeowners can take to reduce the risk of cigarette–related fires and deaths. These tips can also prevent fire-related claims on your homeowners insurance policies.
While this is not a complete list, we encourage you to review and practice fire safety tips with your family:
- If you smoke, it may be best to smoke outside.
- Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children. Maybe store in a locked cabinet.
- If you smoke in your house, use wide ashtrays that are placed on sturdy tables. This will prevent cigarette ashes from falling on furniture or carpet, and causing a fire.
- Be sure to put out used cigarettes with water or sand before discarding and make sure they are fully extinguished.
- Don’t smoke in bed. If you are sleepy or under the influence of alcohol or medications, you may fall asleep with a lighted cigarette. A house fire endangers lives and property.
- Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and be sure to test them once a month.
- Have a fire escape plan and have a fire drill at least twice a year.
Believe it or not, approximately one-fourth of people who die from cigarette-related fires are not smokers, according to the NFPA.
Fires pose a very real risk, and having the right insurance in place to protect your family from the financial consequences of a fire is important. In the event of any fire, your homeowners insurance agent can help you with the claims process.
Not smoking may be the safest alternative for you and your family. Practicing safety precautions is crucial. Be sure to review these safety tips for smokers, where to smoke safely and how to properly dispose of cigarettes. My advice: Stop Smoking for better health for you and your family!
by Connie Phillips, CIC, LUTCF