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Fire Safety: Don’t Flick Your Cigarette

August 21, 2023

Fire safety is a paramount concern that affects not only our individual lives but also the well-being of our communities. One seemingly harmless action that can have devastating consequences is the act of throwing cigarette butts out of vehicle windows. This careless action not only endangers lives but also contributes to wildfires, property damage and legal penalties.

Unfortunately, it’s a common sight: a driver casually flicking a cigarette butt out of their vehicle window, seemingly unaware of the potential disaster they are initiating. In Alberta, where dry conditions and winds can escalate the risk of wildfires, this act takes on an even more perilous dimension. A single smoldering cigarette butt, when cast onto grassy roadsides or dry vegetation, can trigger a devastating wildfire that engulfs everything in its path. These fires can spread at alarming rates, placing lives, property, livestock and wildlife in grave danger.

Preventing fires caused by discarded cigarette butts starts with adopting responsible habits. Smokers should invest in a portable ashtray or carry a small container with water in their vehicles to safely extinguish cigarette butts before taking them to the trash. This simple step can go a long way in preventing catastrophic fires.

The phrase “Don’t Be A Butt” serves as a reminder to prioritize responsible behavior. The Hanna and Special Areas Fire Departments have prepared some tips for residents and visitors to consider.

Be Prepared

🚬 Things are dry! Throwing a butt out your window can result in severe damage.
🚬 Carry a portable ashtray. Even better if it contains sand.
🚬 Soak butts in a small container with water.
🚬 Don’t be a butt!