Firefighters urge smokers to use caution

DOWNEY - Smoking is the number one cause of home fire deaths. To prevent these deaths, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is launching a nationwide Smoking & Home Fires Campaign designed to raise awareness and stop home fires caused by smoking before they start.The City of Downey Fire Department is supporting this important effort to help save lives. The USFA's Smoking & Home Fires Campaign is aimed at alerting people, especially smokers and those who live with them, to the fact that careless smoking is the number one cause of preventable home fire deaths. The goal is to prevent fire deaths by urging smokers to Put it Out. All the Way. Every Time. "The Downey Fire Department is proud to support the USFA in this very relevant campaign. Far too many people in our communities have been killed in fires started by cigarettes. It is time for us to realize that one person killed in a preventable home fire is one too many" said Public Information Officer Jason Patao. "Together, we can save lives." "Most fires caused by smoking materials start on beds, furniture, or in trash," said Tom Olshanski, spokesperson for the U.S. Fire Administration. "It's not just the smokers that are killed in these fires. In fact, one in four people killed in these kinds of fires were not the smokers themselves." On average, 1,000 people are killed in smoking-related home fires every year and most people are asleep when the fires occur. Smoke-related fires can be prevented by taking a few simple precautions. Smokers and those who live with smokers should ensure the following: *Smokers should smoke outside and use ashtrays with a wide, stable base that won't tip over. *Always make sure cigarettes and ashes are out. *Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash. *Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. *Chairs and sofas burn fast so never put ashtrays on them and check for cigarettes under cushions if people have been smoking in your home. *If you are drowsy or falling asleep, put it out. Smoking in bed is just plain wrong. For more information on the Smoking & Home Fires Campaign and other fire prevention information, please visit To learn more about how you can prevent fires in your home, please feel free to contact the Downey Fire Department, (562) 904-7345,

********** Published: April 12, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 52