Welcome from the Chief
Some people will be taking a big step this month and will be throwing away their cigarettes and replacing them with an electronic cigarette, also known as an e-cigarette. This latest gadget is an electronic inhaler that vaporises a liquid solution into an aerosol mist, stimulating the act of tobacco smoking, and for some has assisted them in giving up the habit.
But all e-cigarettes use a rechargeable battery to power the vaporiser, these batteries require to be recharged on a regular basis, and a number of incidents have been reported nationally whereby the battery has either overheated or exploded during the charging process.
Although I encourage you to stub out your cigarettes this month, I do also urge you to take extra care if you decide to swap the matches for a charger, to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidance, and to only use the battery and charger that was provided with the e-cigarette.
Preventing a cigarette fire
If you do not yet feel ready to give up cigarettes, smokers can follow some simple precautions to help prevent a fire in the home. These include taking extra care when you're tired, taking any sort of drugs or have been drinking alcohol, and never smoke in bed - if you need to lie down, don't light up. You could doze off and set your bed on fire.
Remember never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended and always buy child-resistant lighters and matchboxes. Keep these where children can't reach them. Also, 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 not still burning when you are finished - put it out, right out.
Finally, 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.
Carelessly discarded cigarettes can also cause devastating grass fires - So if you are out and about, please make sure that any smoking materials are discarded and extinguished properly.
Of course the most important piece of advice is to be as prepared as possible in the event of fire, by ensuring that working smoke alarms are fitted in your home and that you have clear escape routes to enable you and your family to exit your home as quickly as possible.
If you’ve not done so already, become a fan of our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter to take part in exclusive competitions and keep up to date on the latest news from the Service.
Go to www.facebook/northwalesfireservice or follow our tweets @NorthWalesFire.