Smokers urged to butt out as fire damage from cigarettes soar
WITH temperatures soaring across Victoria, Quit Victoria and fire brigades across the state are urging smokers to be cautious when disposing of cigarette butts to help reduce the risk of fires.
The warning comes after a cigarette sparked a fire that caused substantial damage to a property in Albion just after Christmas.
Fortunately none of the five residents who were home at the time sustained injuries, and firefighters were able to stop the blaze from spreading to the neighbouring properties.
Quit Victoria director Sarah White urged smokers to realise that the possible impact of smoking extended beyond health.
“The impact of fires started by cigarette butts can range from small fires in bins, through to devastating bushfires,” Dr White said.
“The latest estimates show smoking-related fires cost the Victorian economy around $28.6 million per year.
“And when you add the cost of smoking-related litter, reduced workplace productivity and healthcare too, these costs add up to a staggering $3.69b in tangible costs to the Victorian economy every year.
“There’s a simple way to reduce the costs of fires caused by cigarettes - encourage and support your friends, family and work colleagues to quit.”
For quitting advice, visit quit. org.au or call the Quitline on 137 848.
For more home fire safety tips from the Metropolitan Fire Brigade visit www.mfb.vic.gov.au.