Watch your (cigarette) butts

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cigarettes are one of the leading causes of home fire fatalities. Additionally, the leading cause of brush, grass and forest fires include smoke materials, such as improper disposal of cigarette butts. In the past year, we have had three small events involving improper disposal of cigarette butts here on the Fermilab campus.

If you smoke, put out the cigarette all the way every time and dispose of the filters in the proper receptacles provided in smoking areas around the Fermilab campus.

You can make a difference to ensure fire safety elsewhere too:

  • If you smoke, smoke outside. Most home fires caused by smoking materials start inside the home. When you smoke outside, discard cigarettes and ashes in proper receptacles and never throw cigarettes on the ground.
  • Wherever you smoke, use a deep, sturdy ashtray with a wide, stable base that is difficult to tip over, and always set ashtrays on something sturdy and difficult to ignite, such as a table.
  • Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away at home. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash.
  • Check for butts. Chairs and sofas can catch fire fast and burn fast. Don’t set ashtrays on them.
  • Never smoke in bed! To prevent a deadly fire, put your cigarette out before you go to bed.
  • Never smoke where oxygen is used (even if it is turned off). Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.
  • Fire-safe cigarettes are less likely to cause a fire. These cigarettes have banded paper that can slow the burn of a cigarette that isn’t being used.
  • Know the dangers of e-cigarettes; learn how to prevent e-cigarette explosions; and report any vape explosions or fire by calling ext. 3131 on the Fermilab campus or 911 in our surrounding communities.

For more information, visit this website to read about fire causes and risks.