Edmonton

Cigarette butt receptacles ordered for condo, apartment balconies

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services will require all condo and apartment buildings to supply proper receptacles for cigarette butts if management has not outright prohibited smoking.

In five years, cigarettes sparked 97 condo and apartment fires, causing $45M damage

Edmonton fire chief Ken Block said he is "personally asking Edmontonians to take responsibility" for properly disposing of cigarette butts in condo and apartment buildings. (CBC)

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services will require all condo and apartment buildings to supply proper receptacles for cigarette butts if management has not outright prohibited smoking.

In the last five years, cigarettes sparked 97 fires on condo and apartment balconies, tallying $45M in damage, said fire chief Ken Block.

That includes the Clareview condo complex fire in May sparked by cigarette butt discarded into a diaper pail, which left more than 300 people without a home.

"Fires caused by the improper disposal of smoking material are completely preventable, and yet are the cause of some of our city's most dangerous and devastating fires," Block said in a news release Monday.

Over the next few months, Edmonton Fire Rescue will get word out to all condo associations and apartment owners to place the enclosed ashtrays on every balcony.

The estimated cost for each receptacle is between $25 and $100.

At the same time, Edmonton Fire Rescue and Alberta Municipal Affairs are initiating a campaign, Stub it Right, Don't Ignite, to instruct smokers how to properly dispose of cigarettes butts.

"I am personally asking Edmontonians to take responsibility for their actions related to fire use," Block said. "If you are going to smoke, it must be disposed of in a proper receptacle. Let's work harder to keep each other safe."

Deron Bilous, Alberta minister of municipal affairs, said seven Albertans died in fires sparked by smokers last year.

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