Statute

Section 320.353

Cigarettes and other smoking materials are a leading cause of fires and fire related deaths in the United States. In an effort to reduce smoking-related fires, public safety officials from all 50 states, in cooperation with cigarette companies, have now adopted a specific “fire-safe cigarette” standard for the manufacture of cigarettes.

What is a "fire-safe cigarette?"

A fire-safe cigarette is manufactured to have a reduced propensity to burn when left unattended. The most common fire-safe technology used is to manufacture cigarettes with a paper wrapper having two or three thin bands of less-porous paper, which act in a manner similar to a speed bump in a parking lot, to slow down a burning cigarette. A fire-safe cigarette is designed to extinguish itself when an unattended cigarette reaches one of these “speed bumps.” Fire-safe cigarettes are also referred to as fire standard compliant, lower ignition propensity, reduced fire risk, self-extinguishing or reduced ignition propensity cigarettes.

How do I know if the cigarettes I am purchasing meet the fire-safe standard?

image of FSC samples

In Missouri, cigarettes meeting fire standard compliance (FSC) must be clearly marked with “FSC” located near the Universal Product Code (UPC) on each pack, carton or case of cigarettes.

Is an FSC cigarette really fire safe?

No cigarette can be made 100 percent fire safe. Fire safe is a term used to describe cigarettes that are more accurately described as less fire prone or of a reduced ignition propensity.

If you going to use smoking materials, the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend you consider the following safety tips:

  • Choose fire-safe cigarettes since they are less likely to cause fires.
  • Smoke outside.
  • Use deep, wide ashtrays placed on a sturdy table and keep ashtrays well away from the table’s edge.
  • Before you discard cigarette or cigar butts be certain they are out and cool. Dousing in water or placing them in sand is recommended. Also, use caution when emptying ashtrays into the trash.
  • Check in or around furniture, especially pillows and cushions where people have been smoking, for cigarette butts that may have fallen out of sight.
  • Never smoke in a home where medical oxygen is being used.
  • To prevent a cigarette fire, you have to be alert. Never smoke if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.
  • Keep matches and lighters stored out of the sight and reach of children.
  • Always have working smoke detectors in your home.

For more smoking safety tips, contact your local fire department or visit the NFPA’s website.

Submission of Cigarettes for Missouri FSC Certification

Pursuant to Missouri law, sections 320.350 to 320.374 cited as the Fire Safety Standard and Firefighter Protection Act, on or after Jan. 1, 2011, no cigarette shall be sold or offered for sale in Missouri or offered for sale or sold to persons located in Missouri unless the cigarette has been tested and meets the performance standard specified in Section 320.353, RSMo.  

Tobacco companies wishing to submit cigarette brand styles to the State Fire Marshal’s Office for FSC certification should:

  1. Complete an FSC program worksheet for each brand family of cigarettes to provide all information required for each brand style; and,
  2. Provide the appropriate testing data for each brand style to be certified; and,
  3. Submit payment of $1,000 for each brand family. Payment should be made to the Division of Fire Safety and forwarded to:
    Missouri Division of Fire Safety
    FSC Program

    PO Box 844
    Jefferson City, MO 65102

Any correspondence, supporting documentation or change in any contact information previously submitted, may be mailed to either the address above or emailed to fscc@dfs.dps.mo.gov.

Upon verification of the receipt of all required documentation and fees, a letter of certification will be issued by the division for those brand styles in compliance with Missouri law. The letter will be sent to the contact person provided on the FSC worksheet.

Cigarette Fire Incident Report

Effective Jan. 1, 2011, Missouri law requires that cigarettes contain certain features to reduce the likelihood that those cigarettes will start a fire. The Office of the State Fire Marshal directed the Fire Investigation Unit to determine, whenever possible, if cigarettes involved in fires were fire standard compliant and attempt to identify the brand of the cigarette involved. Local investigators are asked to adopt similar practices and complete a Cigarette Fire Incident Report of their findings for any fire involving a cigarette and forward that report to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.