Dorset Fire and Rescue is giving a stark warning to smokers to ensure that they have fully extinguished all smoking materials before going to sleep.
It's after a man died at the weekend as a result of the ‘careless disposal of smoking materials’.
Fire crews from Christchurch and Springbourne attended the block of flats in Stourwood Avenue, Springbourne shortly after 4am on Saturday 14 August. The fire was located in a ground floor flat of the property where sadly, crews found that the male occupant had died.
Fire Investigation Officer, Mike Cox, said: “As a fire service, we can’t say ‘don’t smoke’ but we can say ‘if you’re going to smoke, please, please ensure that everything is extinguished into a suitable container before you go to bed or fall asleep’. In this case, the gentleman had apparently been smoking and had, we think, fallen asleep while it was still alight. It is such a sad loss of life and can be easily prevented with just a few seconds worth of preventative action.”
The flat was protected by hardwired smoke detectors which had activated and warned the other residents of the block of the fire.
“Residents were evacuating when we arrived” added Mike “which is exactly the right thing to do. Smoke alarms are an early warning system and hardwired detectors are especially efficient. However, if the occupants are unable to respond to the alarms as in this case, if the fire is on or about their person, the best advice is still, and always will be to put it out – right out.”