On average, nearly 20 adults in every 100 in this country smoke cigarettes or other smoking materials. In Illinois, the most current data on smokers is slightly more optimistic, with 14 to 15 of every 100 adults smoking.
Of course, smoking doesn’t bode well for the good health and longevity of anyone who smokes or those who are subjected to second-hand smoke. Plus, thousands of home and business fires are attributed to smoking each year. Fortunately, when it comes to smoking and fire damage, there is some good news: Fires caused by cigarettes and other smoking materials are preventable in the greater Chicago area and elsewhere.
To avoid having to call the fire and smoke restoration specialists with ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons, review these fire-safety tips and put them into action. Your family and friends will thank you!
- Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home. Test the batteries every month and change them at least once a year.
- Put a fire extinguisher in rooms where a fire is most likely to start, including your kitchen, living room, laundry room, and bedrooms. Teach your family members how to use a fire extinguisher.
- Because most home fires caused by smoking materials start inside, go outside before you light up. Ask family members and guests who smoke to go outside to smoke.
- Never walk away from cigarettes, cigars, or pipes that are lit.
- Make sure you’re alert before lighting up. If you’re sleepy, medicated, or intoxicated, resist the urge to have another cigarette.
- Never smoke in bed. Mattress and bedding can ignite easily and cause tremendous bodily injury or even death.
- Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it’s shut off. Oxygen is very explosive and makes a fire burn hotter and faster.
- Whenever you smoke, use deep, sturdy ashtrays with wide, stable bases that are hard to tip over. Make sure each cigarette is completely stubbed out in the tray. If you smoke outside, thoroughly extinguish your cigarette butts in a can filled with sand.
- Empty ashtrays into an air-tight metal container. Soak cigarette butts and ashes in cold water before throwing them away, and never toss hot butts or ashes in a trash can.
One final tip from the U.S. Fire Administration is to use fire-safe cigarettes. These cigarettes have banded paper that can slow the burn of a cigarette that isn’t being used.
If you’re the unfortunate victim of a house fire and require fire damage, smoke damage, or water damage restoration in the greater Chicago area, contact ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons at 773-376-1110. We’ve got the resources, tools, trained damage restoration specialists, expertise, and compassion to get you and your family back on track.