The creation of fire brought humanity out of the darkness and started their journey to modern society, but these days the causes of fire can lead to destruction and death. In fact, our relationship with open flame is so close on a daily basis we take for granted how dangerous it is.
Smoking Causes WildFires
A leading cause of human casualty and devastation, fires are often the result of human incompetence and/or negligence. Every year wildfires ravage open hills overgrown with dry foliage in areas where brittle fuel is tough to control. Though forestry firefighters perform regular controlled burns in order to cut down on wild brush, each drop of rain brings temporary life to the surface, only to let it die and dry in drought. It’s impossible for these brave forestry workers to control all of these growths.
Close to 90 percent of wildfires are due to human negligence from illegal or unattended campfires, burning trash. It’s not possible to pinpoint exact statistics on how many since the areas in question burn so thoroughly. Cigarettes continue to cause an undeterminable percentage of wildfires.
Throwing lit cigarette butts out of car windows at high speed is one of the leading causes of wildfires. The thought that a single burning stub could cause that much destruction is staggering. Consider how much damage it does to the human body and it makes complete sense.
Reflexively, if a vaper were to throw their e-cig filled with their loved eliquid out the window of a moving car (I don’t know why they would) it would hit the pavement and either roll or clatter to a stop on the side of the road. No fire, no destruction, likely just a broken device. That’s in dramatic contrast to a raging fire, fires in the home caused by smoking are even more unsettling.
Residential fires are a leading cause of death and homelessness. These fires can be due to everything from cooking accidents, to electrical wiring failure. However, the frequency in which they are due to poorly attended cigarettes due to negligence or simply falling asleep prove they are unfortunately common occurrences. Two out of three deaths from housefires are caused by cigarettes. This makes smoking the leading cause of fire deaths for decades. In fact, the leading cause of home structure fires was smoking.
In 2011, every state in the U.S. had passed legislation requiring all cigarettes sold to be “fire-safe”. Fire resistant rings incorporated into cigarette papers prevent fires from continuous burning. Without air drawn through them at regular intervals each fire safe band to extinguish the embers of unattended cigarettes. Theoretically, the lit ends of fire-safe cigarettes would simply go out on their own.
Nevertheless, statistics gathered by the National Fire Protection Association from 2010- 2015, five percent of total fires are causes by smoking materials which includes 22 percent of deaths and ten percent of injuries. Disasters or deaths cause by smoking are categorized by policy makers as preventable. However, statistics still point to cigarettes as a significant cause of fire-related deaths.