A Hove smoker set off an alarm on National No Smoking Day, prompting fire crews to turn out in the belief that they were needed to put out a blaze.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service dispatched firefighters from Hove Fire Station just before 10.15pm last night (Wednesday 9 March).
The fire service said: “At 10.14pm, Hove crews responded to a fire alarm sounding at a property in Portland Road, Hove.
“This was a false alarm caused by smoking under the detector head.
“A home safety visit was carried out by crews.”
Earlier the fire service’s community safety team manager Steve Wright spoke about the way smoking had led to people dying in house fires.
He said: “The best way to rule out any chance of these kinds of fires is to give up smoking – and that’s why we support No Smoking Day.
“However, many fires caused by cigarettes could be easily prevented by simply taking more care.
“Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully. Put them out. Right out.
“Vulnerable member of our community may qualify for free smoke alarms, which are supplied and fitted by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
“Smoking, as well as being an obvious hazard to your health is also a known cause of fire and is particularly dangerous for more vulnerable members of our communities.
“Over the past few years we have had a number of fire deaths in East Sussex, where elderly people have died as a result of smoking materials.
“Warning signs can be obvious and can include scorch marks or cigarette burns.”