COMMENT - New fire safety warning to heed

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HAVING a cigarette in bed or on the sofa at night would seem a natural thing to do for a smoker.

After all, in a country where it is illegal to smoke indoors in public places, it must seem refreshing to be able to light up in your own home.

But there are dire consequences of sparking up in bed or on a sofa at home. It is too easy to get cosy and fall asleep or for ashes to drop onto the carpet or bedding and eventually smoulder into a fire.

It may seem ludicrous, or people would assume it would never happen to them, but even whilst sober, it can occur, and unfortunately it appears to have been the case for Gordon Bailey.

For such a tragic accident to occur out of something so ordinary as a daily habit is a bitter pill to swallow.

As the fire service spreads warnings about working smoke alarms and chip pan fires, it now has a new message to enforce the dangers of smoking indoors. Even if stood away from furniture, ashes could spark a fire.