London Fire Issues Warning About Unsafe Cigarettes

An inquest determined that two people died in a house fire started by cigarettes that didn't meet European Union safety standards.

Saying an inquest determined that cigarettes that didn't meet European Union safety standards started a fatal 2013 house fire, the London Fire Brigade recently issued an urgent warning about them. Investigators found a cigarette pack made in India, and the cigarettes in it did not have the self-extinguishing design required in all cigarettes legally sold in the United Kingdom.

The fire killed a woman and her daughter on June 18, 2013. The brigade's fire investigators determined the fire was caused by cigarettes and ash discarded into a wicker bin.

"We're urging all smokers to only buy cigarettes that meet European Union safety standards and never to throw smouldering cigarettes or hot ash into rubbish bins. The cigarettes involved in this case were duty free and were not illegal or counterfeit. Half of accidental fatal fires last year were caused by smoking, and nearly 10 fires a week are caused by the careless disposal of cigarettes," according to a brigade news release that said in 2013, the number of fires caused by cigarettes in the brigade's jurisdiction fell by 13 percent, but the brigade had estimated that safer cigarettes would cut them by one-third, at least.

Other family members were in the home when the fire began, and they were alerted by a smoke alarm.

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