Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths. Smoke alarms, smolder-resistant bedding and upholstered furniture are significant fire deterrents. Here are a few safety tips to keep you and your family from becoming a fire statistic:
- Never smoke in bed. Replace mattresses made prior to the 1973 Federal Mattress Flammability Standard.
- Do not put ashtrays on the arms of sofas or chairs
- Use large, deep ashtrays with wide lips. While smaller ashtrays may be more attractive, they are not safe. Cigarettes can roll off the edge, and the ashes can easily be blown away.
- Water down your ashes. Empty ashtrays into the toilet or an airtight metal container. Warm ashes dumped in waste cans can smolder for hours, and then ignite into fire.
- Do not leave cigarettes, cigars, or pipes unattended. Put out all smoking materials before you walk away.
- If you begin to feel drowsy while watching television or reading, extinguish your smoking materials in a safe container.
- Close a matchbook before striking and hold it away from your body. Set your cigarette lighter on "low" flame to prevent burns.
- If friends or relatives who smoke have paid you a visit, be sure to check on the floor and around chair cushions for ashes that may have been dropped accidentally.
- Store matches and lighters up high and out of children's sight and reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.
- Do not put ashtrays in a location where children or pets could knock them over.