Lincoln Fire Inspector Rick Campos did a nice job yesterday briefing the news media about trends in Lincoln surrounding fires caused by negligent smoking. He had some interesting facts. Smoking materials are one of the most common causes of residential fires (cooking is the other biggie). The most common ignition occurs in refuse containers and bedding materials.
Rick had examples of people snuffing out their smokes in plastic flowerpots, plastic trash containers, and even (duh) a paper bag. We cited a person last week for negligent smoking--a city ordinance that prohibits careless disposal of smoking material. You can expect even more of this in the future, if the evidence warrant such charges.
This all reinforces my belief that the declining number of residential fires is a reflection, in part, of the declining percentage of Americans who smoke. I wonder if those new-fangled e-cigarettes will catch on and even further reduce fire risk among smokers--or, alternatively, will a proliferation of newly-available smoking materials counteract the effect?