Cambridgeshire firefighters are urging smokers not to light up in cars when passengers are in the back.
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service have joined forces with Camquit for the Smokefree Homes and Cars campaign.
This week the campaign saw leaflets distributed to every Fenland primary school pupil to take home for parents to learn about protecting children and pets from second-hand smoke. The literature is also available in every children’s centre across Cambridgeshire.
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is on board with the campaign, through which it is offering vulnerable residents the opportunity to receive a free home fire safety check.
Station Commander Pete Jones, CFRS Risk Manager for Fenland and Huntingdonshire, said: “The fewer people that smoke in cars and homes, the lower the risk is of a fire starting and this is obviously a benefit to the community as a whole.
“We attended 40 fires involving people’s homes and cars between April 2014 and March 2015 that had been started accidentally by smoking materials. Since April this year we’ve already attended 21 fires started by smoking materials and if we can educate people about safe disposal of smoking materials – the first step being to smoke outside their properties and cars – then this should help to reduce the number of these incidents.”
The Smokefree Homes and Cars campaign was launched in August to develop awareness about the change in legislation that will prohibit smoking in cars with someone under 18. This legislation will come into force from Thursday (October 1). To sign the pledge to be smokefree or for more information visit www.camquit.nhs.uk or contact CAMQUIT on 0800 018 4304.
Val Thomas, Consultant in Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council added: “Around 2 million children in the UK are estimated to be regularly exposed to second-hand smoke in the home. I would encourage people to sign the pledge. The only effective way to protect children from second-hand smoke exposure is to make homes and cars smoke free.”