Smoking safety

Smoking is the top cause of accidental fire deaths nationally and in Greater Manchester. Between 2007 and 2016, 46% of accidental fire deaths were caused by smoking.

Fire Safety Advice - put it out, put it right out

  • Stub your smoking material out properly – put it out, put it right out
  • Don't leave a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe lying around. They can easily fall over and start a fire
  • Use a proper heavy wide-bottom ashtray, never a wastepaper basket
  • Make sure your ashtray won't tip over and is made of material that won't burn
  • Keep a small amount of water in the bottom of your ashtray to help to make sure your smoking materials have definitely been extinguished when you stub them out
  • Dispose of your smoking materials carefully
  • Ensure that contents of ashtrays are cold before they are emptied into a suitable bin outdoors. Putting water on ashes or butts is a good idea
  • Take care if you smoke when you’re tired as it’s easy to fall asleep with a cigarette burning and set furniture, clothes or bedding alight
  • NEVER smoke in bed 
  • Don’t smoke if you’ve taken medication, drugs or alcohol that makes you tired or drowsy. If you do smoke in this situation, take extra care or smoke outdoorsNever smoke illegally manufactured cigarettes
  • Never smoke, or let someone else smoke in the same room as you, when oxygen equipment or an air flow pressure relief mattress is being use
  • Don’t smoke if you, or anyone near you, are using paraffin-based emollient creams in contact with skin, clothes, dressing or bandages. If you use paraffin-based emollient creams, ask for non-flammable alternatives
  • Always keep matches and lighters away from children
  • Buy child resistant lighters and matchboxes
  • Fit a minimum of one smoke alarm on every floor of your home and test alarms weekly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999

Download our smoking related fire leaflet here.

Quitting smoking/smokefree homes

If you smoke, the best way to reduce your risk of having a smoking related fire in the home is to stop smoking. Another option is to have a smokefree home. Stopping smoking will not only dramatically reduce the risk of fire but is also the single best thing a smoker can do to improve their health.

Advice and support to quit is available at or via the Smokefree National telephone helpline on 0300 123 1044.

Contact details for Stop Smoking Service provision in Greater Manchester can be found here.

Information about going smokefree at home is available here.

Further Information

For more information about fire safety or to book a free Safe and Well visit, take a look at our Safe and Well section.