Cigarettes and Fires

Cigarettes present a hazard more immediate than the possibility of cancer down the road. Burning cigarettes can cause all sorts of fires if they’re not properly extinguished, all resulting from carelessness. The fires that result from people casually tossing cigarettes or not properly disposing of them can be dangerous as well as expensive. If you smoke cigarettes, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you dispose of them properly to avoid causing a conflagration that can affect others.

Common Cigarette-Related Fires

According  Today article from 2006, 電子煙 related fires are on the rise, and states are trying to stem the problem. Because chemicals in cigarettes encourage the flame to stay lit, cigarettes that are not properly extinguished can burn for awhile after they have been discarded. While many states are now requiring safer cigarettes which go out quicker, the problem remains.

There are several common scenarios for cigarette fires, some of which include:

  • The wastebasket fire. Some people will absent-mindedly throw a spent cigarette into the trashcan when they are finished, rather than properly snuffing it in an ashtray. Wastepaper baskets tend to be filled with (surprise!) paper, which can ignite quickly and suddenly. Make sure to avoid throwing your cigarettes into the trash when you’re finished with them.
  • The bed fire. Many smokers enjoy a cigarette before going to bed. It’s a relaxing way to end the day. However, many people, especially the elderly, are prone to falling asleep in bed without realizing that they still have a lit cigarette in their hand. Fires caused this way are on the rise, with older people particularly at risk. A good rule of thumb to follow is to just avoid smoking in bed. Have the last cigarette of the day standing, extinguish it in an ashtray, and then get into bed.
  • The forest fire. Man-started forest fires are a problem this time of year, especially in the West, and one of the most common causes for them is a carelessly tossed lit cigarette. If you do go camping or hiking in the forest, it’s important to make sure you grind out your cigarette butts when you drop them, and make sure that you don’t throw them anywhere with a lot of dry grasses or leaves lying around.

 

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