New London Fire Brigade figures released in support of the Stoptober campaign highlight that smokers are 266 times more likely to have a fire than those who vape. The service states that smoking is the Number 1 cause of fatal fires.
Since 2014, it advises, there have been upwards of 6000 fires due to combustible tobacco products, such as cigarettes and matches - but just 22 fires attributed to vape products.
As well as smoking causing the most fire-related deaths, it is also features as one of the top three reasons for household fires. The service says that they are called out to four smoking-related fires every day of the week – and at least one person a month dies as a result.
The full figures since 2014:
- 5950 smoking related fires
- 68 people died in smoking-related fires
- 698 people were injured in smoking-related fires
Last year, the London Fire Brigade assisted 150 people, injured as a result of smoking – this is the highest number in five years.
Chris O’Connor, the Brigade’s Head of Community Safety, said: “Our message is simple: quit smoking or risk dying in a fire. Firstly, we would urge you to stop smoking completely but fully appreciate that this is your decision. If you still need that nicotine fix, vaping is a much safer alternative. Hundreds of people are injured in smoking related fires each year but we’ve not had any reports of injuries or deaths caused by e-cigarettes.”
“Vaping isn’t completely risk-free from either a fire or health perspective and we would urge you to always use the correct charger, ensure your batteries are not damaged and not to charge e-cigarettes over night or when you’re out of the house.”
“With smoking, one of the biggest mistakes people make is falling asleep with lit cigarettes, or they fail to dispose of cigarettes or matches properly, which can smoulder and cause fires.”
The London Fire Brigade believes its advice is correct as it follows Public Health England’s recommendations. As part of this push, the service has produced an electric safety advice page containing information about the correct use of battery chargers.
It also states that it is happy to visit homes to give fire prevention advice for free – and will even install free smoke alarms. You can book a visit on the Brigade’s website.