Tuesday May 23, 2023 | LANGFORD, BC
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
In the past seven days Langford Fire Rescue has attended to seven preventable fires.
“Each fire was the result of improperly discarded cigarette butts and/or smoking type material,” says Langford Fire Rescue.
One of those fires was on a balcony that could have resulted in the loss of multiple townhomes, it was pointed out by Langford Fire Rescue on Twitter today.
Disposing of butts responsibly:
People are reminded that gardens, planters, flower pots, and combustible containers are for plants, trees, and flowers not cigarette butts.
Butts should not be flicked out windows from cars or condos and should not be extinguished in plant pots, says Acting Assistant Chief Simon Chadwick, Langford Fire Rescue.
People who choose to smoke are asked to extinguish their butts in water or sand or into metal containers, not garbage cans.
Reusable pocket ashtray:
Smokers can also choose to use a reusable pocket ashtray.
Reusable pocket ashtrays are available free from Langford Fire Rescue. Smokers can get those 24/7 at Langford Fire Hall #1, 2625 Peatt Rd, from the drop box there. #NoTossedButts
CRD Clean Air Bylaw:
The no-smoking in public places under the Capital Regional District (CRD) Clean Air Bylaw sees people going outside into public places to smoke.
There are few designated public smoking areas.
The Clean Air Bylaw was first adopted in 1999 then updated in 2007 to include all businesses with patios where food and beverages were being served and/or consumed.
On September 10, 2014, the Capital Regional District Board adopted Clean Air Bylaw No. 3962, which expanded the smoke-free areas to include parks, playgrounds, playing fields, public squares and bus stops. It also extended the smoke-free buffer zones outside of doorways, windows and air intakes (from 3 metres to 7 metres). Following an extensive public education and awareness campaign, the enforcement of the Bylaw began on April 1, 2015.
CRD says that Island Health enforces the CRD’s public health bylaws. To make a complaint about the Clean Air Bylaw, please contact the Island Health Tobacco Control Program at 250.360.1450 or via email.
Working with the bylaw:
Of course, the health aspects of choosing to smoke in the first place (and impacts of second-hand smoke on others) are behind the bylaw.
Langford Fire Rescue says about the scenarios this bylaw situation creates as “it’s a tough one”. But they work with public education to remind smokers to dispose of butts responsibly.
Windy hot weather:
Dry weather conditions with higher temperatures in the past week — together with wind picking up as well for bursts of time in the past few days — has created conditions where sparks can smoulder and be carried along. A fire in bark mulch can smoulder for hours or even days before igniting, says Chadwick.
Keep the bark mulch wet:
Strata owners or homeowners with bark mulch garden beds can help by keeping those areas damp during hot dry weather.
Cost of firefighting:
Dealing with fires in the urban environment incurs the cost of vehicles, water, firefighting equipment and substances, firefighter uniforms (and washing afterward), and the time of firefighters.
You’ll see the signs:
After a butt-related fire has been extinguished by Langford Fire Rescue they will put up a sign saying ‘A Preventable Fire has happened in this area’.
===== ABOUT ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:
Island Social Trends (formerly West Shore Voice News) covers news of the west shore community of Greater Victoria, as well as south Vancouver Island and BC issues.
Island Social Trends Editor Mary P Brooke has been covering news of the west shore region since 2008, as founder and editor of MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), West Shore Voice News (2014-2020), and Island Social Trends (2020 to present).
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