The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that, each year, approximately 8,711 people require emergency room treatment for injuries due to burns associated with cigarettes, lighters, and lighter fluid.
It is estimated that more than half of the people involved had been drinking. Keep in mind that if you smoke while you drink, you may have the tendency to become drowsy and fall asleep. What happens to the lit cigarette? It either drops on your clothing, setting your clothing on fire, or it drops into the chair or bed in which you are sitting or lying and starts a fire. The chances of the cigarette going out by itself and affecting no one are slim.
A statement made by a fire prevention officer sums it up completely: "Smokers keep the home fires burning." Careless smoking and use of matches caises more than 200,000 fires and 1,200 deaths each year. Carelessness includes smoking near flammable liquids, using inadequate ashtrays, falling asleep while smoking, discarding smoldering butts, and smoking in hazardous places. Remember--all matches, lighters, cigarettes, pipes, and cigars are potentially dangerous--treat them with caution.
Remember the following:
- Use large, deep ashtrays.
- NEVER smoke in bed.
- Never leave lit cigarettes unattended
- Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children.
Smoking and drinking have their place in our society when done with caution. This depends greatly upon us. As parents, we have to take this problem by the "butt" and keep safety for the family first. Of all the people injured by smoking and drinking, children under the age of 11 and elderly people suffer the most severe injuries.