Effectiveness of the Cigarette Ignition Propensity Standard in Preventing Unintentional Residential Fires in Massachusetts

American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 02/2014; 104(4). DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301837
Source: PubMed


We evaluated the Massachusetts Fire Safe Cigarette Law's (FSCL's) effectiveness in preventing residential fires.

We examined unintentional residential fires reported to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System from 2004 to 2010. We analyzed FSCL effect on the likelihood of cigarette- versus noncigarette-caused fires and effect modification by fire scenario factors by using an interrupted time series regression model. We analyzed the effect of FSCL on monthly fire rates with Poisson regression.

Cigarettes caused 1629 unintentional residential fires during the study period. The FSCL was associated with a 28% (95% confidence interval = 12%, 41%) reduction in the odds of cigarette- versus noncigarette-caused fires, although not in analyses restricted to casualty fires, with smaller sample size. The largest reductions were among fires in which human factors were involved; that were first ignited on furniture, bedding, or soft goods; that occurred in living areas; or that occurred in the summer or winter.

The FSCL appears to have decreased the likelihood of cigarette-caused residential fires, particularly in scenarios for which the ignition propensity standard was developed. Current standards should be adopted, and the need for strengthening should be considered.

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