Bob Layton: Careless smoking

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WATCH ABOVE: Bob Layton talks about smoking-related fires. – Nov 29, 2019

The talk has not stopped after the second smoking-related fire at Strathmore Manor. Another multi-million dollar blaze has left people homeless.

READ MORE: Fire ravages south Edmonton apartment building for 2nd time in a decade

After years of telling us that gasoline and alcohol don’t mix, we still get drunk drivers, but at least they face charges.

We know that cigarette butts and peat moss are not a good mix, but we still get apartment fires with no charges laid.

READ MORE: Charges could send message to irresponsible smokers whose cigarettes start fires: Edmonton fire chief

For years, people have been asking why we don’t have either a city by-law or a provincial law requiring a fireproof smoking butt container on every balcony. There have also been questions about whether a condo board can outright ban smoking on balconies.

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We’ve heard shock from those in wildfire areas about insurance rates going up. How about in apartments where careless smokers reside: will their neighbours be faced with premium premiums?

READ MORE: Insurance premiums jump as much as 700% at some Alberta condo buildings

There is still no law allowing for a careless smoker who starts a fire to be charged, even though some point out they don’t accidentally put the butt in the planter — they do it, deliberately.

Is the answer making an apartment block non-smoking?

READ MORE: Smoking to blame for $3.7M south Edmonton apartment fire: ‘It’s very upsetting’

Maybe if they had another alternative, such as legally requiring a commercial-grade butt disposal unit on every balcony?

Let me know what you think.

Bob Layton is the news manager of the Corus Edmonton group of radio stations.

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