Fire officials are blaming the careless disposal of smoking materials for causing three fires recently in neighboring Massachusetts communities in a one-week span. The fires resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. One fire occurred in Weymouth and the others in Braintree.
The Braintree Forum quotes Weymouth Fire Prevention Coordinator Justin Meyers as stating that the fire in that community (pictured above, right) originated in the kitchen of one of the units of an apartment building. He said that smoking materials had been carelessly discarded.
In a fire in Braintree, the back of a house was fully engulfed. Fire officials say smoking materials were improperly disposed of on a rear deck or under a porch. In another fire in the same town, the improper disposal of smoking materials is being blamed for a three-alarm fire that destroyed a house.
Smoking materials are the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States. These fires are preventable. NFPA’s smoking safety information and Smoking and Home Safety tips sheet offers these reminders:
- If you smoke, use a deep, sturdy ashtray. Place it away from anything that can burn.
- Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation such as mulch, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, leaves or other things that could ignite easily.
- Before you throw away butts and ashes, make sure they are out, and dousing in water or sand is the best way to do that.
These fire incidents highlight the importance of having working smoke alarms to give you the early warning you need to get out quickly.