Figures show smoking is leading cause of house fire deaths in Lincolnshire

Smoking materials are the main cause of accidental house fire deaths in Lincolnshire, according to new figures released by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue.

The statistics 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.

There were 212 accidental house fires attended by Lincolnshire firefighters in 2012, compared with 365 in 2011 and 380 in 2010.

However, there were three fatalities from accidental house fires in 2012 compared to 1 in 2011, all of which were caused by smoking materials.

Overall last year, 1 in 13 accidental fires in the home were caused by smoking materials, and 14% of casualties needed more help than could be given at the scene.

Debbie Robinson, deputy community fire safety manager at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “These accidental fires often start when people are at their most vulnerable, which is why they are so often fatal.

“Nationally and within Lincolnshire statistics show that smoking materials cause more fire-related deaths than any other domestic fires.”

“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,” Debbie Robinson added.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue advised to always use an ashtray when smoking, never smoke in bed, and always empty ashtrays before going to bed, making sure the contents are fully extinguished, like running them under a tap.