A fire at a Yakima home early Friday morning started by a discarded cigarette caused an estimated $350,000 in damage.

FIREFIGHTERS WERE CALLED EARLY FRIDAY MORNING

Firefighters responded at about 3:10AM to the home in the 200 block of North 30th Avenue. When they arrived the family living at the home was safe at a neighbors home. No injuries were reported.
Sixteen firefighters responded. Crews were on scene for about 90 minutes.
Typically at this time of year firefighters get busy with heating related fires. Many house fires at this time of year are started by baseboard and space heaters or heaters used to warm animals. But cigarettes do the most damage no matter what time of year.

DESPITE FEWER SMOKERS HOUSE FIRES ARE STILL A PROBLEM

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the most recent information shows only 15.5% or less of the adult population are smokers compared with 33% in 1980. Despite the small number of people who are smoking, smoking remains the leading cause of home fire deaths. According to the most complete data available the CDC says “during 2012-2016, an estimated annual average of 18,100 (5%) reported home structure fires started by smoking materials killed an average of 590 (23%) people annually, injured 1,130 (10%) per year, and caused $476 million in direct property damage (7%) per year.”

INDOOR SMOKING BANS MEAN MORE FIRES ARE STARTED OUTSIDE

So what’s been the impact of indoor smoking bans at homes and businesses? Firefighters say they’ve seen more fires started by cigarettes that began outside homes. In fact The leading area of origin for home smoking fires in 2012-2016 was an exterior balcony or open porch (18%).
So if you smoke inside firefighters say make sure all smoking materials are out and never smoke in bed or while napping in an easy chair. If you smoke outside never use soil in plants to douse your cigarette because the wood in the soil can get hot and catch fire.

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