Smoking-related fires are a wider term used to describe those types of fires that are caused by the following aspects; cigars, pipes, cigarettes and heat from undetermined smoking materials. There is a distinct difference between fires that are ignited by smoking materials and smoking as a cause of fire, for instance, smoking related materials are classified as a behavioral cause. Fires that are ignited by smoking materials are grouped into group of fires, whereas, smoking materials are considered as the heat source. The two classes of fires are similar but different in nature. A type of fire that is deliberately caused by a smoking material is considered as an intentional source of fire; on the other hand, a fire that is caused unintentionally by someone smoking cigarettes or any other smoking materials is considered a smoking related fire. Smoking related fires is minimal but in the real sense poses a greatest life safety in all the residential settings.
Therefore, smoking-related fires are the most prevalent cause of domestic fires across the globe. This can be attributed to contributory negligence by the smokers or it can also be due to deliberate accidents that are caused by the persons who smoke. They are plenty of causative agents that can results to fire outbreak through the act of smoking, these includes; smoking under the influence of alcohol, using low quality ashtrays, smoking in the bedrooms, keeping fire friendly objects around the smoking zone, falling asleep, drug and substance abuse, among others. All these factors bring about undesired incidences of domestic fires which leads to severe damage and loss of property and lives. Therefore, all smokers should be advised accordingly on the pros and corns of the dangers associated to the smoking activity and possible channels that can be used to mitigate the act, thus this lead to a plenty of property and lives being saved.
Methods of determining causes of fires and possible application strategies;
Residential smoking fires;
This is the prevalent smoke-related fires; this usually takes place in areas of residence especially in a clustered setting. When smoking fires occurs in a residential setting then it is always fatal and results to excessive damage to property due to the nature of safety first. It contributes ta significant of deaths especially the infants and the aged, since they don’t have the capacity to rescue themselves. A research study in the USA in the ear 2002 clearly shows that $371 million worth of property damage, 1,330 injuries and 520 deaths were reported after 14,450 residential flats and apartments were destroyed by smoking related fires. This statistics explains the realm of the extent of unsafe smoking near a residential setting.
Residential fires caused by smoking contribute to significantly higher levels of damage of property and loss of lives compared to any other agent that can result to residential apartments or structures fires. smoking fires in a residential setting normally originates from the bedroom, during the night when the victims are off to bed, in normal circumstances, the victims are not involved directly to starting the fires but occurs due to their contributory negligence activities. There are plenty of factors that are related to this cause, this includes; physical handicap, old age, mentally handicapped, too young to act, drug or substance abuse. All these factors can be addressed hand in hand due to their difference and extent of the causative nature.
Methods of determining causes of fire;
There are two types smoking related fires in a residential setting, these are; confined and non-confined fires. Confined fires normally occur during the early phase of the night, between 7 and 8 pm, they are as a result of carelessness and improper set-up of rules that govern proper residential setting. On the other hand, non-confined fires occur during late hours of the night, probably from midnight onwards. This is due to contributory negligence from the victims that leads to such fires. Past statistics shows that non-confined smoking fires takes place first in the bedroom and spreads through to the other rooms. Bedrooms are always believed to be the principal source of deadly residential smoking fires due to their enclosed nature and plenty of fire friendly objects. The second place that leads in non-confined fires is the unenclosed porches and exterior balconies, family rooms, living rooms, exterior wall surfaces and lounge areas.
Fires in non-confined areas;
A non-confined room, for instance the bedroom, contains plenty of fire friendly goods e.g. blankets, duvets, sheets, clothes, pillows, beddings, and comforters. Another possible cause is the finish component and structural design, i.e. exterior sidewalls, surfaces and components of framing e.g. furniture. In addition, upholstered sofas and chairs are the leading agents of smoking fires in the living rooms. This is due to their high tenacity to ignite and spread faster.
Smoking fires tend to be minimal compared to other causes of residential fires but its effect is fatal and cannot be contained easily. Non-confined smoking fires tend to remain between the confines of the room of origin then spreads faster to the bordering rooms. The spreading normally takes place in the walls of the room by following the finishing paint or any fire friendly garment on the wall. This occurs gradually then graduates to a huge fire thus causing great damages to property and loss of lives. Therefore, in order to mitigate such scenarios, then proper precautions needs to be put in place. This will enable prevention of such scenarios in future; therefore proper mechanisms ought to be placed in place. Residential designers and planners need to plan on ways to curb future scenarios of smoking fires related residential structures.