Deaths of children in house fires

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7029.511 (Published 24 February 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:511
  1. Phillip Whidden
  1. Publications editor Association for Nonsmokers' Rights, Edinburgh EH7 4BU

    EDITOR,—Ian Roberts's editorial on the deaths of children in house fires omits to mention what is overwhelmingly the most important factor in fatal residential fires—namely, cigarettes.1 “Smokers' materials” are the source of ignition in nearly half of the house fires in Britain that result in a death. Matches are not included in the government's definition of this term, and in fatal residential fires the term essentially refers to cigarettes. Any discussion of deaths among children because of house fires ought therefore to mention …

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