Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging smokers to take extra care after an investigation established that a cigarette was responsible for a fire in which a Stafford lady died.
"We’d urge all smokers to ensure that they fully put out their cigarettes when they’ve finished with them and use a heavy ashtray on a flat surface."
Fire Investigation Officer, Brian Griffiths
The 53-year-old woman is the third female to die in a fire caused by smoking this year. In Staffordshire smoking materials are the third most common cause of accidental house fires.
The fire occurred in the lady’s semi-detached house on Tamar Grove on Wednesday morning. A joint fire and police investigation established that the fire was caused by a cigarette that had dropped onto the settee and started smouldering before developing into a larger fire that caused significant damage to the ground floor of the property.
Fire Investigation Officer, Brian Griffiths said: “This was a tragic accident that sadly is becoming all too common – this is the third lady this year to die in a fire caused by a cigarette. We cannot stress enough to smokers the importance of ensuring they handle and dispose of their cigarettes safely because as this incident has highlighted the consequences can be devastating.”
“We’d urge all smokers to ensure that they fully put out their cigarettes when they’ve finished with them and use a heavy ashtray on a flat surface. Never light up in bed and avoid smoking when you’re tired as it is very easy to fall asleep whilst your cigarette is still burning.”
Since the incident firefighters and community safety officers have been out and about in the local area offering residents safety advice and urging them to take up the offer of a free Home Fire Risk Check, which includes the fitting of smoke alarms. To book a check call FREEPHONE 0800 0241 999.