Canada Cigarettes in flower pots caused 60 fires in Montreal last year

03:10  17 may  2018
03:10  17 may  2018 Source:

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A fire that destroyed a Terrebonne house was started by a cigarette butt left in a flower pot . A cigarette stubbed out in a flowerpot caused a fire that destroyed a home north of Montreal and damaged two other buildings.

In Montreal alone, officials say at least 20 fires this past spring were caused by cigarettes butted out in flower pots . A few days before that, a Montreal man suffered serious burns to his hands and feet after a cigarette tossed into a flowerpot on a building rooftop turned into a major fire .

051418-0515_city_ledevoir_-_8146© Dave Sidaway

Cigarettes butted out in flower pots and planters caused at least 60 fires in Montreal last year, as well as the blaze that forced the evacuation of the Le Devoir newspaper offices this week.

With spring in bloom, Montreal’s fire department is holding its annual “No cigarette butts in pots!” information campaign for two weeks in May, with firefighters attending distribution centres for flowers and compost to spread information.

They counsel smokers to never put out a cigarette in a flower container, pot or basket, or in black earth, mulch or any other similar materials. These materials are composed of peat, moss and combustible chips, and can also contain chemical fertilizers, all of which can burst into flame if they contact a heat source. A period of up to four or five hours may elapse between the time that a cigarette is put out and the appearance of the first flame.

When extinguishing a cigarette outdoors, Montreal’s fire department recommends using an ashtray suited to outdoor risks, such as wind. At home, use a deep tin filled with damp sand, and place the tin on a fire-resistant surface.

On Monday, the offices of Le Devoir at the corner of Ste-Catherine and Berri Sts. had to be evacuated after a fire erupted on the rooftop terasses of the building. Firefighters believe a cigarette in a flower pot started the four-alarm fire. No one was injured, and the staff still managed to put out their daily edition of the newspaper.

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