Fire service calls on residents to safely dispose of smoking materials after increase in fires

Members of the public across Greater Manchester are being urged to think twice before carelessly discarding smoking materials in their homes.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) has attended 11 smoking related incidents since the beginning of April this year compared to an average of two incidents per month from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.

Crews from across the city-region attended multiple incidents where it is believed that cigarette materials, that were not properly extinguished, had been placed into bins within the home.

On April 9 2020, six fire engines were called to an incident involving a small fire on a balcony on the sixth floor of a high-rise building in Hornbeam Way, Manchester.

It is believed the residents of the property discarded their smoking materials, which were not fully extinguished, in a small plant pot which then set alight. Luckily, residents on the floor above noticed the fire and poured a bucket of water on the fire.

GMFRS Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Tony Hunter, said: “This is a perfect example of how easily a fire can start in the home. Thankfully this incident was managed quickly by occupiers in the building before crews arrived.

“I’d encourage anyone who does smoke to think carefully about where they choose to discard their smoking materials and to always check that they are fully extinguished.

“We recognise that due to the restrictions in movement members of the public are at home more than ever and with that comes an increase of risk from fire and for this reason we are asking people to take extra care. A fire at any time puts lives at risk and can have a lasting impact on those involved. However, the pandemic increases the risk and the impact significantly.

“I’d ask where possible members of the public think twice about their actions to help prevent fires and our firefighters turning out to any incidents that could have been easily avoided.”

A range of smoking fire safety advice can be found on our website.

Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health and there has never been a more important time to quit. Smokers in Greater Manchester can visit (opens in new window) to find information, advice and details of stop smoking support services across all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester or call the NHS Stop Smoking helpline for free on 0300 123 1044.

23/04/2020 15:41 PM