Fairfax County Fire RescueFairfax County Fire Rescue said improperly discarded smoking materials caused a fire on the deck of a Reston townhouse on Sunday.

Units responded to 11708 Great Owl Circle about 4:40 p.m. They encountered smoke and fire coming from the rear deck of the two-story townhouse. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire.

Three people were home when the fire broke out and escaped safely and there were no injuries, firefighters said.

Damage is estimated at $2,000.

The smoking materials had been discarded in a flower pot on the deck.

Fairfax County Fire Rescue says smokers should always follow these tips to avoid fire:

  • Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Provide large, deep ashtrays with a center support for smokers. Check furniture for any dropped ashes before going to bed. Empty ashes into a fireproof container with water and sand.
  • Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn (i.e., mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, draperies, etc.).
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
  • If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes. They are less likely to cause fires.
  • To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you must be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children’s sight and reach.

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