126 fires linked to cigarette butts have occurred in Montreal in 2020

126 incendies liées aux mégots de cigarettes sont survenus à Montréal en 2020

MONTREAL – smokers who threw their cigarette butts in flower pots and vegetable gardens have caused 126 fires in Montreal since the beginning of the year, for a total of 1 226 $ 110 in damage.

For the same period in 2019, 55 fires have caused damage of 35 050 $, revealed Thursday, the Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal (SIM).

The SIM notes that the materials used in potting soils to plants, such as peat or sphagnum moss, are flammable. A cigarette butt off in this soil can easily cause a fire.

It can take between four and five hours between the time when a cigarette is crushed and the appearance of the first flame, which may then communicate to a terrace, a balcony or even a home.

“The citizens need to be vigilant when they put out their cigarettes, and this, in both places, internal and external. All the more that the episodes of extreme heat that we are experiencing since the beginning of the summer increase the risks of this type of fire,” said the spokesperson in prevention for the SIM, Louise Desrosiers.

The SIM recommends that citizens keep the flower pots and flower beds moist when it is hot, use an ashtray suitable for outside and sheltered from the wind and, if necessary, to have a tin box with a good depth that is filled with damp sand or water to extinguish butts.

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