Smok­ers urged to butt out as fire dam­age from cig­a­rettes soar

Mansfield Courier - - Property Guide -

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.

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