Stark figures reveal deaths in fires caused by cigarettes

ISLINGTON had the second highest number of people injured in fires caused by cigarettes in the capital, new figures have revealed.

The Fire Brigade has released stark statistics which show three people in Islington were killed and 45 people harmed in fires started by smoking from 2006 to 2010.

Southwark topped the London chart with 47 injuries in smoking fires and Haringey fell into third position with 45 people hurt, while both boroughs also had three deaths over the time period.

The Fire Brigade released the figures to hammer home the dangers of smoking at home - particularly in bed or after drinking alcohol.

Dave Brown, assistant commissioner for the brigade’s operations and mobilising department, said: “Smoking vastly increases the risk of having a fire in your home.

“If you are a smoker it is absolutely vital that you make sure your cigarette is completely out when you have finished.

“If you don’t, you are at risk of starting a fire that could destroy not only your home but your life, and the life and lives of your loved ones.”

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London-wide one in three deaths in house fires were caused by cigarettes - and last year 14 people died in fires caused by smoking and 121 people were injured.

Since 2006 there have been 64 fatalities and around 700 injuries prompting the Fire Brigade to appeal to people to fit smoke alarms.

“Smoke alarms cost roughly the same price as a packet of cigarettes, so if you are a smoker financially there is no excuse for not having one,” said Mr Brown.

“Make sure you’ve got a working smoke alarm on every level of your home. Smoke alarms provide a vital early warning and buy you extra time to escape if there is a fire, and could save your life.”

FACT BOX: Injuries In Smoking Fires 2006-2010 - Top 10 London Boroughs

Borough / Deaths / Injuries

1. Southwark: 3, 47

2. Islington: 3, 45

3. Haringey: 3, 44

4. Westminster: 3, 38

5. Havering: 1, 32

6. Enfield: 4, 29

7. Ealing: 4, 28

8. Lewisham: 1, 27

9. Lambeth: 3, 26

10. Tower Hamlets: 2, 25