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Smoke free homes pledge

Smoking is one of the main causes of fires in the home.

Health Promotion Fife and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have come together to encourage Fife householders to make their homes healthier and safer places. To achieve this we are asking residents to make a Smoke Free Homes pledge and sign up for a free fire safety check.

Currently 69% of children in Fife live in a home where at least one parent smokes. Second hand smoke causes illness such as asthma, heart disease and cancers. Children are at greater risk of illness because they breathe faster and deeper than adults. Home owners are often not aware that 80% of smoke is invisible and that toxic substances can stay in the home for months after the cigarette has been smoked.

In addition, smoking is one of the main causes of fires in the home – causing around 5,500 house fires every year.

By making a gold pledge participants decide that their home will be completely smoke free, whilst a silver pledge limits smoking to one room, with an agreement that smoking is not allowed when children are present in the room. Households can choose whichever pledge they feel is achievable for them and also have the opportunity to have a free fire safety check.

Fiona Lockett, Health Promotion Officer, said: “Even if you don’t smoke you may have friends and family who do. People should not feel awkward about displaying their smoke free pledge certificate and letting their friends and family know that they want their home to be smoke free.

“If guests wish to smoke, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask them to smoke outside.”

Group Manager for Prevention and Protection from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Alex Smart said: “In Scotland, most fatal fires are started by smoking materials. You can cut the chances of this happening to you by booking a free home fire safety visit. A short visit will make sure your home is as safe as it can be and we will even install smoke alarms, free, if you need them. To book a visit simply text ‘check’ to 61611 or call 0800 0731 999 or visit firescotland.  

To date the campaign has encouraged 1519 to register their homes.  Of these, 1249 have made a gold pledge and 270 have made a sliver pledge.  This means that at least 982 children are protected.

From this campaign the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have had 611 home fire safety visits requested so far.

Group Manager Smart said “This is a fantastic result for our home fire safety visits. You may not think a fire can happen in your home – but it can and it does.  Having a smoke alarm fitted for earlier warning in the event of fire, along with professional advice and escape plan will make you and your family much safer.”

For more information or to make your Smoke Free Homes pledge online or call 0800 389 1603 for a pledge form.

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