Fire statistics reveal that over 800 people were killed or injured in accidental house fires started by cigarettes or smoking materials in 2007.[1] The shocking figures reveal that 1 in 3 fire deaths are caused by smoking materials and men aged between 30 and 59 were among the highest risk groups for smoking related fires in the home.

In response to the serious fire risks caused by smoking, the Fire Kills campaign is supporting No Smoking Day 2009 and giving smokers yet more reasons to quit on March 11 and beyond.

Former BDO World Darts Champion and England International, John 'Boy' Walton is supporting the Fire Kills no smoking campaign. He intends to use No Smoking Day to finally quit smoking and is urging others to do the same. He says:

"I started smoking at a young age and know how hard it is to try and give up. Unfortunately, fire safety is rarely taken into consideration when smoking but I realised just how important it is after one of my fellow darts players lost everything in a house fire. Thankfully no-one was at home at the time, but it highlights the need for people to be aware of the fire risks of from smoking, and for everyone to recognise how important it is to fit and maintain smoke alarms. Being fire safe is yet another reason for me to quit the habit for good this No Smoking Day".

The best way to reduce your risk is to give up. However, for smokers finding it tough to kick the habit the advice from the Fire Kills campaign is to be cautious when smoking at home and to 'put it out, right out' after finishing a cigarette.

Sadiq Khan, Fire Minister says:

"People shouldn't underestimate the dangers associated with smoking in the home if cigarettes aren't properly extinguished. The economic price of a house fire is immense and you can't put a cost on the lives of loved ones. I would encourage smokers to give up this No Smoking Day or at the very least pay careful attention to smoking materials."

Dan Tickle, Chief Executive of the charity No Smoking Day says:

"70% of smokers want to stop, but aren't aware that there is free, local help available to them. Your local stop smoking service can increase your chances of success by four times. Why not take the first step this No Smoking Day and feel fitter and healthier."

For smokers not ready to kick the habit this No Smoking Day, it is important to follow these simple precautions to prevent a fire at home:

- Put it out, right out! Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished

- Take extra care when you're tired, taking any sort of drugs or have been drinking alcohol. It's very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning

- Never smoke in bed - if you need to lie down, don't light up. You could doze off and set your bed on fire

- Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended - they can easily overbalance as they burn down

- Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can't tip over easily and is made of a material that won't burn. Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished

- Tap your ash into an ashtray, never a wastebasket containing other rubbish - and don't let the ash or cigarette ends build up in the ashtray.

- Fit and maintain a smoke alarm - a working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999

- Close all inside doors at night - closed doors help to reduce the spread of fire, giving you more time to escape.

- Ask the experts - Fire and Rescue Services in England offer free home fire risk checks to identify potential fire risks and advise what to do to reduce or prevent them

For further information on fire safety visit direct/firekills

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