Lincolnshire smoking fire deaths prompt warning

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Cigarettes caused every fatal house fire in Lincolnshire in 2012, new fire service figures have revealed.

While the total number of accidental dwelling fires fell to 212 compared with 365 in 2011 and 380 in 2010, fatalities rose from one to three.

The fire service added that those involved in smoking-related fires often needed more medical help.

Officers said such incidents tended to happen as people were falling asleep and appealed for smokers to take care.

The statistics released by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue service also show that last year 1 in 13 accidental fires in the home were caused by smoking materials.

Debbie Robinson, deputy community fire safety manager, said: "These accidental fires often start when people are at their most vulnerable, which is why they are so often fatal.

"So, we are trying to encourage people to not smoke when feeling tired, especially in bed or lounging in a chair. And to remember that if they have been drinking alcohol or taking medication, they may feel drowsy."

The fire service advised smokers to always use an ashtray, never smoke in bed and make sure the contents of ashtrays were completely extinguished.

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