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Fire Department warns of cigarettes sparking house fires

There have been several notable home fires in the city lately and Fire Marshal James Kostuk says an unfortunate number of those were caused by smoking materials.

Kostuk says typically the case is that cigarette buts simply weren’t completely put out before being disposed of incorrectly.

“Quite often when people are using a homemade ashtray it’s not an approved ashtray or it’s not made out of a non-combustible material. That leads to fires, and in addition, Grande Prairie is really windy so cigarette butts are able to blow out of ashtrays if they aren’t deep enough.”

Smoking materials are the second leading cause of fires in the city, and Kostuk says almost all of the time those fires are preventable, but people need to take better care with their cigarettes.

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“If you’re a smoker you need to be responsible for your cigarette buts. Discarding them out the window, that’s a big no-no because first of all that’s littering. If you see someone littering with a cigarette butt, report them to enforcement services as there is a $115 fine for littering. And of course, throwing butts out the window also causes a fire hazard.”

Kostuk says smokers should always wet their cigarettes and make sure they are completely extinguished before discarding them, and to never leave smoking material in planted pots or on the ground.

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