DEVON & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service are encouraging smokers to stop smoking on National No Smoking Day, today, Wednesday, March 11.

This year’s No Smoking Day theme from The British Heart Foundation is ‘Proud to be a Quitter'.

In life we’re told never to give up, to keep going – but when it comes to smoking, being a ‘Quitter’ is a good thing.

From a fire safety perspective Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service are reminding smokers that careless disposal of cigarettes is the single biggest killer in house fires across the country.

Habits such as smoking while drinking alcohol in the home or lighting up in bed are responsible for one in three of all accidental house fires resulting in deaths in England.

With a steady decline in the number of smokers, the overall number of fires triggered by cigarettes is small, but with over a third of all fire deaths in the country attributed to cigarettes the proportion of fatalities is staggering.

A working smoke alarm means you are more than twice as likely to survive an accidental house fire. For smokers not ready to kick the habit this No Smoking Day, it is important to follow these simple precautions to prevent a fire at home.

•Put it out, right out! Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished.

•Fit a smoke alarm on every level and test it regularly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.

•Never smoke in bed. Take care when you’re tired. It’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning and set furniture alight.

•Avoid drugs and alcohol when smoking. It’s easy to lose your concentration when using any sort of drugs or drinking alcohol, combined with cigarettes and this could be lethal.

•Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended - they can easily overbalance as they burn down.