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Smoking Causes 14,450 House Fires Annually 7/28/05 intox.com
Cigarettes, cigars, and other lit tobacco products caused 14,450 residential fires last year, resulting in 520 deaths, 1,330 injuries, and $371 million in property damage, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) U.S. Fire Administration.
"Each year, smoking fires generally result in the highest fatality rate and are among the highest injury rates for residential fires," said FEMA head Michael D. Brown. "Smoking fires account for a large number of preventable fires and injuries. Simply by being more attentive to the use of smoking materials, this nation could take a major step in preventing these types of fires and stop the needless deaths and injuries."
Smoking-related fires are particularly deadly because they often start in bedrooms or living/family rooms, after smokers fall asleep. In 35 percent of such fires, upholstered furniture, mattresses, pillows, or bedding were the items first ignited.