Smoking materials are responsible for many preventable fires. Every time you light a cigarette, you potentially increase the risk of an unintended fire.
While accidents do happen, smoking-related fires are almost always preventable with a bit of caution and forethought. Consider the following tips if you’re a smoker, if you have a smoker living in your home, or if you have a business or property where smoking happens.
The fire danger is changin: As more people have moved outside to smoke, there’s been a shift in smoking-related fires from indoors to outdoors. Instead of the sofa or bed catching fire, fires in planters on balconies or decks have been a growing concern. In dry conditions, it doesn’t take much more than a butt tossed off a balcony or from a vehicle window to start a grassfire that could potentially affect an entire community. Smoking outdoors may reduce risks inside, but it comes with a new set of risks outside.
Stubbing out safely: The best way to extinguish your cigarette is in a non-combustible container filled with a non-combustible material. That could be sand in a metal bucket, a can, or in a glass jar. The biggest thing to remember is that planters or flower pots are NEVER a safe place for cigarette butts. The soil in planters or pots often contains material that can burn or smoulder for hours. You could think you’ve successfully stubbed out a cigarette in the morning, only to have the back of your house fully engulfed in flames by the afternoon. Sand in an empty can is cheap and easy. Replacing a home is not.
Cannabis and fire safety: While cannabis and tobacco burn differently, there are still similar risks associated with having any burning, smouldering product in your home. Always have ashtrays on hand, and be careful to keep matches or lighters away from children.