Prevention (Community Fire Safety)

In order to improve community safety, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service works proactively to prevent fires and other emergencies from happening.

The most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries is to reduce the number of incidents that happen in the first place.

The Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service Prevention Team sets out to achieve these goals through a system of proactive education, involving a wide range of initiatives aimed at promoting an environment safe from fires, road traffic collisions and other emergencies.

This proactive education is delivered by operational personnel and a dedicated team of Prevention Practitioners, either in people's homes whilst carrying out safer home visits and by talking to members of the public through our attendance at public events or through our work with partnership organisations.

At home or outdoors, your family is potentially at risk, not just from fire, but other hazards too. The safety of your family should always come first and by following some simple advice, you can protect them.




Wake up to the deadly risk: smoking is the biggest house fire killer

'Fire Kills' logo

Smokers are being warned that they must wake up to the deadly dangers of smoking - especially when tired - as Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, part of the Fire Kills campaign, highlight that a third of all deaths in fires in the home are caused by cigarettes.

Smoking is the single biggest killer in accidental fires in the home, often because of careless behaviour, such as smoking in bed or not taking care after drinking alcohol.

And when smokers fall asleep with a lit cigarette in hand, their proximity to the resulting fire seriously lowers their chance of escaping in time.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service are reminding smokers to 'Put it OUt, Righg OUt' whenever they light up; to install smoke alarms on every level of the home, and to test them on the 1st of every month. Without a working smoke alarm, you are at least four times more likely to die in an accidental fire in the home.

These simple steps can help prevent a cigarette fire in the home:

  • Never smoke in bed. Take care when you're tired - it's very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and set furniture alight.
  • Never smoke when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If your lit cigarette starts a fire, you could be less able to escape.
  • Put it Out, Right Out! Make sure your cigarette is fully etinguished.
  • Fit a smoke alarm  and test it monthly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended - they can easily overbalance as they burn down.
  • Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can't tip over easily and is made of a material that won't burn.

Councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said:

"Every six days, someone dies from a fire caused by cigarettes or smoking materials. Despite a fall in the overall number of fires caused by these products, it is still the biggest killer in accidental fires in the home across the country".

"Every smoker should wake up to the risks they take every time they light up, and drop the habit of smoking whilst in bed or under the influence of alcohol. The risk of falling asleep before you 'put it out, right out' is just too great".

"Just two to three breaths of toxic smoke can render you unconscious, so invest in a working smoke alarm and test it monthly. It can give you the extra time you need to escape if the worst should happen".

Download a fire safety leaflet 


Blue Watch: The sign of a safer property

Blue Watch is a home safety scheme, supported by  UK Fire and Rescue Services, for tenants, homeowners and landlords. The Blue Watch logo is a sign of a safer property. Displaying it states that a trusted fire safety expert has validated a property or product.

Blue Watch: the sign of a safer property
Blue Watch: The sign of a safer property

Contact details

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Telephone: 01473 260588, 0900-1700 (Mon-Thurs), 0900-1600 (Fri)

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Community Fire Volunteers

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This section provides information on our work with young people; advice on keeping you safe when you are at home, on the road and out and about

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