Edmonton Fire Rescue Services is teaming up with a number of local garden centres to really try to drive home the dangers of putting out cigarettes in plant material.
So far this year, there have been 67 fires caused by smoking materials in Edmonton that have caused $8,630,000 in damage. Five people have been injured in these fires.
That’s compared to 76 similar fires in 2020 that caused almost $6 million in damage.
“There is a misconception that plant pots and soil can be used to extinguish cigarettes. This is not true. Potting soil contains large amounts of combustible material that can allow embers to smoulder before igniting into flames,” said Dennis Friedel, Acting Fire Marshal with Edmonton Fire Rescue Services.
“Smoking materials and potting soil just don’t go together.”
On Thursday, The Root Seller, Mill Creek Nursery and Kulmann’s Greenhouse Garden Market began displaying signs warning shoppers the dangers of putting out cigarettes in potting material.
Between 2018 and 2020, Edmonton recorded a total of 205 fires related to smoking materials. The fires caused $33.6 million in damage and 31 injuries. Five people also died in fires during that timeframe.
Smokers are reminded to us a deep, non-combustible ashtray or to fully extinguish cigarettes in water before throwing them out and to never discard cigarettes directly in the garbage, out a car window, on the ground or in dry, grassy areas.
Plant pots containing potting soil, peat moss or other types of soil should never be used an alternative, the city said.