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The Best Smoke Alarms: Fire Safety For Smokers

Jul 8, 2008
From setting off smoke alarms to constant coughs and health problems, a smoker's life is fraught with irritations and perils. You've all been made aware the dangers of second-hand smoke, the ill effects of cigarettes on your heart, and the new legal need to hang around in the cold and dark outside your favorite restaurant, puffing away while friends talk happily inside. It's no good anymore, is it?

But there's one grim elephant in the room of smoking: the risk of fires. Too often you forget the old adage, "Where there's smoke, there's fire"--with the result that you burn up your house and everything you love. All it takes is one burning "cherry" falling from the end of your cigarette and in a matter of seconds the disaster becomes difficult to avert. Thousands die just this way every year.

If you've been smoking all of your life, you may not want to give up the world's last great socially unacceptable habit just yet. So it's important for smokers to follow a few simple rules for fire safety in order to protect themselves and others.

One: never, ever smoke indoors when you're tired. One of the chief effects of smoking, as you well know, is dizziness and fatigue. It's very easy to drift off to sleep with a burning cigarette in your hand or teetering on the edge of an ashtray. If you do this, make sure to enjoy whatever dreams you have: they'll probably be the last pleasant things in your too-short life.

Two: always take the time to put out cigarettes completely. Too many people give their butts a quick crush against an ashtray or a table leg and call a spade a spade. They'll need a spade to scoop up your remains if you do this too often! Even if you can't see the burning cherry at the end of the cigarette, the cigarette still generates plenty of intense heat. Placed against a carpet or wood surface, it's possible for that heat to burst into flames even long minutes later, after you've left the room. So take care of your business first and avoid problems later.

Three: keep a good fire extinguisher handy. CO2 extinguishers or foam extinguishers are usually a good idea for home use in order to avoid electrical shorts and other problems. Also make sure that your smoke alarms are well-maintained and equipped with fresh batteries. If you can't be careful yourself, at least make sure that something's there to be careful for you.

Four: Here's a simple idea: just don't smoke indoors! Yes, it's unpleasant to have to go outside every forty-five minutes to get a fix, and yes, the smell of old cigarette smoke is comforting and peaceful. The smell of charred bodies is not comforting or peaceful, and there's no way to go outside every forty-five minutes in the burn ward. Think about that, and happy--safe--smoking.
About the Author
Advice on the different types of smoke alarms their advantages, disadvantages and optimum locations can be found at www.FireProtectionOnline.co.uk
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