House fire deaths have increased since the introduction of the smoking ban as people socialise at home.

A recent campaign to promote installation and checking of smoke detectors in the home by the National Safety Council highlighted the dangers of smoking at home combined with alcohol intake. 

Statistics show that cigarettes are responsible for four in ten fires last year, a big increase on the year before. Chip pans also account for another three in ten outbreaks but, 

Alcohol consumption is the underlying factor in many cases.

Brian Farrell from the National Safety Council explains that house fires start when people come home from an evening's socialising in the pub and put on the chip pan or grill. The consequences of sitting down on the sofa and lighting a cigarette can be both fatal and tragic. 

Our relationship to alcohol needs to be looked at, and the government needs to take it seriously, says Doctor Joe Barry from the Task Force for Alcohol. 

The Water Safety Council have also expressed concern over the number of deaths on the waterways which are alcohol related, 

Every month we have a different report on different hazards caused by drinking.

The National Safety Council has also stated concern at the lack of smoke detectors in Irish homes, as in nine out of ten fatal fires there was no working smoke detector in the house. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 11 April 2005. The reporter is John Kilraine.