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Home : News : News
NEWS | Aug. 1, 2018

Smoking materials can be a deadly household menace

By Richard S. Campos 502nd Civil Engineer Squadron

A deadly menace to any household is fire, which can result in injuries or death. It can strike anywhere or at any time.

Home is the place where we are supposed to feel the safest. But home is where most smoking materials, structure fires, deaths and injuries occur.

The leading cause of fire deaths is smoking materials. Fires involving smoking materials are preventable. The National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, has developed some safety tips:

Smoking safety:

·         If you smoke, use only fire-safe cigarettes.


·         If you smoke, smoke outside. Most deaths results from fires that started in living rooms,

family rooms and dens, or in bedrooms.


·         Keep cigarettes, lighters, matches and other smoking materials up high out of the reach

of children, in a locked cabinet.


·         Never smoke in bed.


·         Be alert. Do not smoke after taking medicine that makes you tired.


Put it out:

·         Use a deep, sturdy ashtrays. Place it away from anything that can burn.


·         Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation such as mulch, potted plants or landscape, peat

moss, dried grasses, leaves or other things that could ignite easily.


·         Before you throw away butts and ashes, make sure they are out. Dousing them in water or

 sand is the best way to do that.


Smoking and medical oxygen: Never smoke and never allow anyone to smoke where medical oxygen is used. Medical oxygen can cause materials to ignite more easily and make fires burn at a faster rate than normal. It can make existing fires burn faster and hotter.

Electronic cigarettes: Fires have occurred while e-cigarettes were being used, the battery was being charged, or the device was being transported. Battery failures have led to small explosions. Never leave charging e-cigarettes unattended. E-cigarettes should be used with caution.

Facts on fire:

·         The risk of dying in a home structure fire caused by smoking materials rises with age.


·         One out of four fatal victims of smoking material fires is not the smoker whose cigarette

 started the fire.

For more information about smoking and home fire safety, visit the National Fire Prevention Association website at

Contact JBSA fire prevention offices at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston at 210-221-2727; at JBSA-Lackland at 210-671-2921; or at JBSA-Randolph at 210-652-6915.