Fire Chiefs say new cigarettes could save one life every five days

Published:  17 November, 2011

A revolutionary new type of cigarette could save one life every five days in the UK by cutting the number of fires caused by smoking, according to the London Fire Brigade.

From today, every cigarette made in the EU will have to meet new safety standards so that the cigarette, once lit, goes out if it is not actively smoked. The new cigarettes have special bands at intervals down the length of the cigarette paper so that they extinguish themselves when they are not puffed on. Fire chiefs estimate they could cut the number of smoking related fires and fire deaths by two thirds.

The careless disposal of smoking materials is the most common cause of fire deaths in the UK. According to latest figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government, in 2008 around 2,800 fires in the UK were caused by smoking materials, 101 people died and 932 were injured. It is estimated the new cigarettes could prevent 1,800 fires, 67 fire deaths and 600 casualties a year in the UK.

The London Fire Brigade was instrumental in the new safety standards being adopted, having lobbied for the change as far back as 2005. If a cigarette does not comply with the legislation trading standards will be able to seize cigarettes and remove them from the market.

Chairman of London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority’s Community Safety Committee, Cllr Susan Hall, said: “Cigarette fires are a killer, destroying lives and properties across the country every day. These new safety standards amount to an all out attack on the single biggest cause of fire deaths in the country. This small but simple change will slash the likelihood of having a fire caused by cigarette  but people still need to take care. Never smoke in bed and always dispose of cigarettes carefully.

“We have campaigned long and hard for this legislation because it will undoubtedly save lives. Firefighters know how much havoc cigarette fires can cause and these new cigarettes will help keep thousands of people safe. This is a watershed moment for fire safety in the UK.”

DCLG undertook some research into the comparisons of the propensity of fire safer cigarettes and conventional cigarettes to ignite textile materials used in a domestic environment. The research estimated that had cigarettes in the UK conformed to the New York standard (where fire safer cigarettes have already been introduced) in 2003, the number of smoking related fires would have been reduced in that year by nearly two thirds.

The new standard for cigarettes will be published in the Official Journal European Union on 17 November 2011.

To find out more, click here.

  • Operation Florian

Sign up: eMagazine & eNewsletter

The latest issues in your inbox.

Company Profiles

HazSim - Bringing situational HazMat training to life

HazSim, LLC provides innovative simulation training to ensure your team works safely and effectively. HazSim Pro simulation equipment is in use by hundreds of fire departments, training schools, industrial fire teams, and private trainers across the US, Canada and further afield as well as the US Army.

Revolutionizing fire fighting foam technology

The one-stop resource for fire fighting foam concentrates and custom-designed foam suppression systems hardware.

Advancing rescue technology

The specialist supplier of quality PPE and Rescue Equipment to Emergency Services.

The ultimate in innovation, quality and service

For 60 years Lehavot has been delivering the world’s most advanced fire detection and suppression automatic systems

Trust the best, let us be your foam solution

AUXQUIMIA is a Spanish company whose main activity is the design, manufacture and commercialization of firefighting foam concentrates.

Williams Fire & Hazard Control offers a full line of specialized fire response equipment for oil and gas platforms

From storage tanks and pipeline emergencies to offshore platforms and vessels at sea, Williams' response personnel and specialized equipment quickly address adverse fire emergencies.

Foam fights fire

Europe’s foremost fire fighting foam manufacturer has been developing and producing foams since the 1920s.

The leader in truck-mounted hydraulic platforms

Our mission is to provide the best and the safest solution to professionals that work at height.

The independent alternative

Dafo Fomtec AB is a privately owned company with head office in Stockholm Sweden and manufacturing in Helsingborg in the south of Sweden.

If you want quality, you want Zico

Since its inception Ziamatic Corp has provided the men and women of the fire service with products designed to make their jobs safer and easier.

Calendar