FIRE chiefs have highlighted the importance of smoke alarms and the dangers of discarded cigarettes after an inquest into a Bethesda fire.

The move comes following the inquest into the death of Michael Beeby after a fire at his home in Bethesda on June 5 this year.

The blaze claimed the life of the 57 year-old taxi driver who lived at Erw Las, Coetmor Road.

An inquest held today (Tuesday) concluded that the fire was accidental.

Crews from Bangor and Llanberis were mobilised to reports of a fire at the property and Mr Beeby was rescued by firefighters before being treated at the scene and transported to hospital by air ambulance. He later died.

A subsequent fire investigation concluded that the fire was most probably caused by a carelessly discarded cigarette.

There were no working smoke alarms in the property.

Speaking after the inquest, Geraint Hughes from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Firstly, I would like to pass on my condolences and deepest sympathy to the friends and family involved in this tragic incident.

“This fire demonstrates fire can strike anywhere, anytime and highlights the importance of having working smoke alarms in your home, and testing them regularly.

“Smoke alarms give an early warning signal which can help you and your family escape unharmed in the event of fire.

"It’s also vital to ensure that you have a planned and practised escape route, which is clear and free of obstacles, which allows you to get out of your home quickly and safely should a fire occur.

“The most probable cause of fire is believed to be a carelessly discarded cigarette.

"By following the simple precautions below, smokers who do not yet feel ready to give up their cigarettes can help prevent a fire in their home:

Take extra care when you're tired, taking any sort of drugs or have been drinking alcohol. It's very easy to fall asleep without while your cigarette is still burning.

Tips to stay safe from fire include:

Never smoking in bed - if you need to lie down, don't light up. You could doze off and set your bed on fire

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

Buy child-resistant lighters and matchboxes - every year children die by starting fires with matches and lighters. Keep these where children can't reach them.

Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can't tip over easily and is made of a material that won't burn. Make sure your cigarette is not still burning when you are finished - put it out, right out.

Tap your ash into an ashtray, never a wastebasket containing other rubbish - and don't let the ash or cigarette ends build up in the ashtray

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