The MFIS Foundation began tracking fires caused by smoking beginning in 2018. This cause of fire includes all types of smoking materials and all actions related to its use. Since 2018, 18% of the fire deaths involved smoking or the improper discarding of smoking materials. These victims were between ages 50 and 79 and were predominately white males. Over half of these victims were located in the same room where the fire started when they perished and 32% of the victims were in fact disabled. Lastly, the most common rooms where victims were found included living rooms and bedrooms.
Common factors related to smoking fires includes the time of day a fire occurs, the value of the home, and the locations where the fire started. Stats show that 69% of smoking fires occurred between 6PM and 6AM and 60% of the fires originated in the living room. Of the homes impacted by smoking fires, over 70% of the homes were below Michigan’s median home value of $150,000 and only 50% of the homes were reported as having working smoke alarms.
While conducting home safety surveys throughout the state of Michigan, 650 homes were visited where occupants admitted to smoking inside the home. Alarmingly, 22% of the occupants admitted to smoking in bed and 50% did not discard ashes in a non combustible container. Making matters worse, 85% of the homes visited had less than 2 working smoke alarms and nearly 43% lacked smoke alarms all together.