Fire risk from discarded smoking materials increasing across Texas

  • Published
  • By Jessie R. Moreno
  • 902nd Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Protection Inspector

The combination of discarded smoking materials, dry conditions, low humidity, and gusty winds are creating a tinder box for fires, as evidenced by the recent wildfires across Texas.

The Joint Base San Antonio Fire Department has responded to several grass fires this year that were started due to discarded smoking materials.

These fires can be prevented by being responsible and following these safety tips:

  • Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation such as mulch, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, leaves or other things that could ignite easily.
  • When you smoke outside, discard cigarettes in an unburnable (and unmeltable) can filled with sand
  • Never throw cigarettes on the ground.
  • Wherever you smoke, use deep, sturdy ashtrays with a wide, stable base that are difficult to tip over and set ashtrays on something sturdy and difficult to ignite, such as a table.
  • Make sure ashtrays are away from anything that can burn, including the side of your house, deck, fencing, etc.
  • Make sure cigarettes ashes are out before throwing them in the trash can. Soak cigarette ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette ashes in the trash.
  • Put cigarettes out all the way. Do this every time. Don’t walk away from lit cigarettes and other smoking materials.

Smoking material fires are preventable. Help make JBSA a safe and enjoyable place for all.

For more information, visit the National Fire Prevention Association at or contact the JBSA fire prevention offices at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston at 210-221-2727, at JBSA-Lackland at 210-671-2921, or at JBSA-Randolph at 210-652-6915.