NORTH Wales Fire and Rescue officers are urging Wrexham people to be more vigilant with their smoking materials as they launch a campaign to reduce fires and injuries as a result of carelessly discarded cigarettes.
A Government campaign is being launched this month warning people of the dangers of smoking materials.
The National Careless Smoking campaign 'Put it Out. Right Out' will show how easily fires can start from just one cigarette and how quickly a small fire can spread with tragic results.
In 2003, North Wales firefighters attended 68 fires which began as a direct result of smoking or smoking materials.
Senior Fire Safety Officer Dai Roberts said: 'Smoking material fires are amongst the worse incidents we attend as they often happen at night, after people have gone to bed. Also, people are more relaxed in the evening and may have had a few drinks or be tired so are less carful when putting out their cigarettes. A cigarette burns at 700°C, so make sure when you put it out it really is out. The extra few seconds it will take to ensure everything is properly out could save you and your family's lives.'
Mr Roberts explained that fires caused by smoking materials can be prevented by taking a few simple precautions: Never smoke in bed. Never leave lit cigarettes lying around. Always use a proper ashtray and make sure it can't be knocked over. Take special care when you are tired or when you've been drinking. Keep matches and lighters away from children. Make sure you have a working smoke alarm. For further information on fire safety visit www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk or call freephone 0808 100 2863.