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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Smoke-Free Housing - Reduce the Risk of Fire

Not only is smoking harmful to your health but it is the leading cause of fatal fires in Ontario.2 According to the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, from 2006-2015, tobacco materials (cigarettes, cigars and pipes) remained the number one ignition source of fatal residential fires.2 3 The good news is that home fires caused by smoking can be prevented.


Tips to reduce the risk of fire

Smoke outside

No-smoking policies

Keep smoking materials out of reach

Put it out right

Smoke alarms

Quit smoking

Encourage smokers to go outside

Making your own home smoke-free, this means no smoking in any room of the house. If you or your partner smoke, take it outside away from entrances, windows and vents.1 4 5 6 7


Archie Brindleton

Archie Brindleton, the official fire safety dog

The official fire safety dog


Contact Us

For more information, contact the Middlesex-London Health Unit Smoke-Free Information Line:


No-smoking policies

Keeping multi-unit housing smoke-free not only reduces the risk of fire but also reduces the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

If you are a tenant living in multi-unit housing and smoking is allowed, talk to your housing provider about making your building(s) smoke-free. Visit Smoke-Free Housing Ontario for information on how to talk to your housing provider.

If you are a housing provider, consider making your building(s) smoke-free. Visit Smoke-Free Housing Ontario for more information on implementing smoke-free policies.

Keep smoking related materials out of reach

Make sure that all smoking related materials such as cigarettes, matches and lighters are out of reach and out of the sight of children. If you smoke, keep your lighter with you at all times.4 5 6 7

Put it out right

Cigarettes can smoulder undetected for hours, so it is important to put them out right the first time. 1 4 5 6 7

  • Use a large deep, ashtray that cannot be knocked over and keep it away from anything that can burn
  • Never leave a cigarette burning unattended
  • Make sure your cigarette butts are completely out before tossing them
  • Do not put cigarettes in potted plants, garbage, mulch, landscaping or anything that can catch fire quickly
  • Empty tobacco ashes into a metal container - not the garbage can - and put the container outside
  • If people have been smoking in your home, check behind chair and sofa cushions for cigarette butts before going to bed

Make sure you have working smoke alarms

  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms every level of your home 1 5 7
  • Test your smoke alarms often and replace batteries when you change your clocks to daylight savings time

Consider Quitting

If you or your family members are a current tobacco user, consider quitting smoking. For more information on resources available contact the Middlesex-London Quit Clinic at 519-663-5317 ext. 4357.

Date of creation: October 11, 2016
Last modified on: November 19, 2018


1Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs. (2015). Holiday Fire Safety. Retrieved from
2Ontario Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services. (2017). 2007-2016 Ontario Residential Fatal Fires: Children, Adults, Seniors. Retrieved from
3Ontario Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services. (December 2017). Ontario Fatal Fires: 10 years, 2007-2016 Retrieved from
4National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). (2016). Smoking & Home Fire Safety. Quincy, MA: NFPA Public Health Division. Retrieved from
5Fire Prevention Canada. Home Safety: Safety Tips for the Home. Retrieved from
6Government of Alberta. (2015). September is Smoking Fire Safety. Retrieved from
7SGI Canada. (2017). Fire Prevention and Safety. Retrieved from