Half of Calgary's fires in January were caused by cigarettes, cannabis

Mar 21 2019, 2:19 am

It was a cold January in Calgary this winter, but just because roofs are covered in snow doesn’t mean that the risk of house fires is non-existent.

The Calgary Fire Department had a busy month, and have now released the causes of some of the most notable fires they faced throughout January.

“January 2019 saw crews respond to a number of fires that had a range of causes,” said Carol Henke, CFD’s public information officer, in a release.

“Overall, the leading cause of residential fires in our city continues to be cooking left unattended; however, January saw a number of fires related to improper disposal of smoking material, a cause which also resulted in two fatality fires in December 2018.”

Three fires were confirmed to have been started from someone improperly putting out their cigarette, joint, or other smoking material, resulting in garage, house, and building fires.

Two others were started by electrical problems, while one other was created the old-fashioned way after a candle was knocked over.

The Calgary Fire Department included a list of tips for ensuring that your smoking material does not end up igniting your (or your neighbour’s) house:

  • Always use a deep, sturdy and non-combustible receptacle that contains water or sand.
  • Before you throw away cigarette butts and ashes, make sure they are out by soaking in water.
  • Never discard cigarettes in vegetation such as mulch, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, leaves, or other things can easily ignite.
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