Smoking materials caused all three accidental house fire deaths in Lincolnshire in 2012

All three accidental house fire deaths in Lincolnshire in 2012 were caused by smoking materials, according to new figures released today by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue.

The figures also reveal:

• 212 accidental dwelling fires attended in 2012, compared with 365 in 2011 and 380 in 2010.

• In 2012, one in 13 accidental fires in the home were caused by smoking materials.

• Three fatalities from accidental house fires in 2012 compared to one in 2011. 100% were caused by smoking materials.

• In 2012, 14 per cent of casualties in accidental house fires caused by smoking materials needed more help than could be given at the scene.

The statistics published for the first time by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue show that the number of house fires caused by smoking has decreased from 28 in 2011 to 16 in 2012, but of those fires, more are fatal.

Debbie Robinson, deputy community fire safety manager at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “Nationally and within Lincolnshire statistics show that smoking materials cause more fire-related deaths than any other domestic fires.

“These accidental fires often start when people are at their most vulnerable, which is why they are so often fatal.

“So, we are trying to encourage people to not smoke when feeling tired, especially in bed or lounging in a chair. And to remember that if they have been drinking alcohol or taking medication, they may feel drowsy.”

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue’s top tips on how to avoid accidental house fires are:

• When smoking, always use an ashtray.

• Never smoke in bed.

• Always empty ashtrays before going to bed. Check around the house for ashtrays used by visitors or other members of the family. Make sure the contents are fully extinguished - run them under a tap.

• Do not leave your matches or lighters around for children to play with.

• Do not smoke when dealing with flammable liquids/gases/aerosols.

• Make sure all smoke detectors in your home are working. Consider fitting extra detectors in living rooms and bedrooms.

For information and advice on giving up smoking, call the Phoenix Stop Smoking Service on 0800 8401533 and visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk.

To book a free Home Fire Safety Check, call Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue on 01522 582222.