Calgary, AB,

Calgary Fire Department urges caution with smoking material

Regardless of the season, the Calgary Fire Department (CFD) continues to see smoking-related fires. To help reduce this risk, citizens are reminded to exercise caution when disposing of smoking material.

“In 2018, there were five fatalities attributed to the improper disposal of smoking material,” says Carol Henke, Public Information Officer, Calgary Fire Department. “Where the source of ignition could be determined, approximately 27 percent of outdoor fires in Calgary are attributed to smoking material such as cigarettes.”

The improper disposal of smoking material in outdoor planters was also responsible for 38 fires in 2018, eight of which caused damage greater than $100,000 including the four alarm fire in Inglewood.

To better protect your home and community, it is recommended that citizens:

  • Avoid smoking in bed or while under the influence of alcohol or cannabis.
  • Ensure all butts and ash are out by dousing them with water prior to putting in the trash.
  • Always dispose of cigarette butts in a deep, wide, sturdy metal container with a lid. The container should be filled part way with sand or water and emptied regularly.
  • Prune all tree branches within two metres of the ground and plant new trees at least three metres apart.
  • Assess potential fire hazards within 1.5 metres of your home, including natural debris, trees and other structures.
  • Use your ashtray to dispose of any smoking material when driving. Throwing a cigarette butt out of your car window is a serious fire hazard, pollutes our roadsides and has environmental impacts.

Remember to always call 9-1-1 to report a fire.

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