How Indoor Smoking Can Cause a Fire Damage Disaster
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Carrollton explains the fire damage risks of smoking in the home.
SERVPRO of Carrollton is a trusted leader in fire damage restoration, smoke damage restoration, water damage restoration, storm damage cleanup, and commercial property damage restoration. Highly-trained and certified restoration technicians arrive on the scene typically within an hour. Utilizing the latest equipment and advanced technology, industry-standard techniques and cleaning products make SERVPRO of Carrollton a great choice for any type or size of property damage restoration project.
The Facts About the Fire Damage Risks of Smoking
Smoking is a common pastime among adults in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the following statistics on smoking among American adults: “Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths. In 2019, nearly 14 of every 100 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older (14.0%) currently smoked cigarettes. This means an estimated 34.1 million adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes. More than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. Current smoking has declined from 20.9% (nearly 21 of every 100 adults) in 2005 to 14.0% (14 of every 100 adults) in 2019, and the proportion of ever smokers who have quit has increased.”
Many of the 34 million smokers in the U.S. know and understand the health risks associated with smoking. However, smoking is also harmful in other less obvious ways.
The National Fire Protection Association shares several statistics on smoking and home fires on their website at “Smoking and Home Fire Safety.” The statistics reflect findings between the years 2012 and 2016.
- Smoking and smoking materials were responsible for an estimated annual average of 18,100 reported home structure fires
- 590 people died annually in these smoking-related fires
- 1,130 people were injured per year
- Annual direct property damage was $476 million
- Smoking materials (cigarettes, matches, lighters, etc.) account for one in twenty or 5% of home structure fires
- Smoking-related house fires that start in the living room or bedroom account for nearly 75% of fatalities
Smoking-related fires are lethal. Smoking was the leading cause of home fire deaths for the five-year period of 2012-2016. Though smoking-related fires account for only 5% of home structure fires, these fires cause 23% of home fire deaths and one in ten home fire injuries. House occupants involved in a fire caused by smoking materials are four times more likely to perish than in other types of home structure fires.
Smoking Indoors Is More Dangerous Than Ever
Compared to fifty or sixty years ago, house fires today burn faster and hotter while giving off excessive amounts of highly toxic gases. Modern homes contain items made of highly flammable plastics, polycarbonates, and synthetic fabrics, which also produce deadly gases. For example, the average home has 2.3 television sets. One-third of homes have four or more televisions. Couches, clothing, shoes, drapes, computers, electronic devices, and furniture create a hot, toxic environment when they burn.
A room in a modern home can become engulfed in flames in as little as four or five minutes. An older home or a house with items made of real wood and natural fibers may take as many as thirty minutes to become fully engulfed in the flames.
Smoking and Home Fire Safety Tips
Smoking-related structure fires would drop by 75% if smokers relocated from the bedroom and living room to the outdoors. Here are some other helpful tips:
Tip #1: Extinguish cigarette butts by dousing them in water or sand.
Tip #2: Deep sturdy ashtrays are best. Place the ashtrays on a fire-resistant and stable surface or table. The couch or bed is an unsafe place for ashtrays.
Tip #3: Keep flammable items such as magazines, napkins, and other paper products away from ashtrays and the smoking area.
Tip #4: Ashtrays should be cold before they are stored or discarded.
Tip #5: Medical oxygen and smoking are a highly dangerous combination.
Tip #6: Ash in the trash is a recipe for a house fire. Dump ashes in a metal bucket outside the home.
Tip #7: Never smoke in bed.
Tip #8: Install one or more smoke detectors on each floor of the home. Also, install a smoke detector on the inside and outside of each bedroom.
Tip #9: Smoke outside and a safe distance from the home. This practice will prevent smoking-related house fires. Smoking outside will also prevent children, pets, and other family members from being exposed to the deadly effects of second-hand smoke.
Trust the restoration experts at SERVPRO of Carrollton for fire, smoke, water, storm, and commercial property damage restoration. For more information about Dallas, TX, fire damage restoration services, contact SERVPRO of Carrollton by phone at (972) 446-0383 or by email at office@SERVPRO10952.com.