Fire Safety and Smoking

What You Need to Know

Every year, almost 1,000 smokers and non-smokers are killed in home fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking materials. Your Boise Fire Department and U.S. Fire Administration are working to help prevent home fire deaths and injuries caused by smoking materials. Fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking materials are preventable. You can make a difference by being aware!

If you smoke or live with someone who smokes, learn the facts. A lit cigarette accidentally dropped onto a chair or bed, or hot cigarette ashes or matches tossed away before they are completely out, can cause a large fire in seconds.

Putting out a cigarette the right way only takes seconds. It is up to you to make sure your cigarette is put out, all the way, every time.

Interior of bedroom and hallway of house with significant fire damage
  • One-in-four (24%) people killed in home fires is not the smoker whose cigarette caused the fire.
  • More than one third of people killed in home fires were children of the smokers.
  • 25% of people killed in home fires were neighbors or friends of the smokers.
  • Older adults are at the highest risk of death or injury from home smoking-material fires, even though they are less likely to smoke than younger adults.
  • Sleeping is the primary human factor contributing to ignition cited for one-third (32%) of home smoking-material fire deaths.
Smoking and Home Fire Action Steps:
  • The safest place to smoke is outside of the home.
  • Use a deep, sturdy ashtray or a metal container filled with sand to collect ashes.
  • Ashtrays should be set on something sturdy and hard to ignite, like a table. Use ashtrays with a wide, stable base that are hard to tip over. If it wobbles, it won’t work.
  • Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out.
  • Put it out, all the way, every time. The cigarette really needs to be completely stubbed out in the ashtray.
  • Chairs and sofas catch on fire quickly and burn fast. Don't put ashtrays on them. If people have been smoking in the home, check for cigarettes under cushions.
  • Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. NEVER toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash.
  • NEVER smoke while using oxygen or anywhere near an oxygen source, even if the source is turned off. Oxygen makes any fire burn hotter and faster.
  • Be alert!

One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to have a working smoke alarm that can sound fast for both a fire that has flames, and a smoky fire that has fumes without flames. It is called a "Dual Sensor Smoke Alarm". A working smoke alarm greatly reduces your chances of injury or death in a fire.

Prepare an escape plan and practice it often. Make sure everyone in your family knows at least two escape routes from their bedrooms.

Source: U.S. Fire Administration

Message Sent Successfully!

Message Failed To Send.

Send a Message to Fire Prevention

If this is an emergency, please call 911.