The most common cause of fatal fires in Sweden is cigarettes setting alight clothing, furniture and other home furnishings. This accounts for around a third of fatal fires.
The gases given off by smouldering fabrics can kill in just a few minutes. In addition, smoke alarms react later to ember fires caused by dropped cigarettes, for example, than to flaming fires.
Smoking in bed is a common cause of fatal fires in the home. The risk of smoking in bed is that you might fall asleep and drop a glowing cigarette onto flammable material such as clothing, a mattress or bedding.
If you smoke, it is important to have safe routines
- Do not smoke near flammable furnishings.
- Never smoke in bed or in other furniture with fabric and stuffing.
- Use a solid lighter and a stable ashtray.
- Wet the ash before you empty the ashtray. Otherwise, there is a risk that it will catch light in the bin.
Tips on safety aids
Special fireproof aprons are available to prevent clothing from catching fire. To protect against fire on sofas or beds, there are flameproof mattresses, mattress covers, bedding, pillows, duvets and blankets.
Where there is a clear fire risk, for example from smoking in bed or where there have been several near misses before, a mobile sprinkler may be an option. The sprinkler extinguishes or contains the fire with the help of water mist. It requires a fixed connection to mains power and needs to be installed by a qualified electrician.
Facts about fatal fires
Smoking in bed is a common cause of fatal fires in the home. Over half of those who die in fires are over 60 years old, live in their own home and often have impaired physical or mental capacity, which may be an obstacle to quickly seeking safety in the event of a fire.