With the heat warning back in effect for most of southern Alberta, Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services (LFES) is looking to help reduce the amount of preventable, human-cause fires.
This comes after the city has seen close to $4-5 million in structural loss this year, as a result of fires at more than three single family dwellings and a few multi-family dwellings.
Troy Hicks, fire prevention officer for LFES, says one of the main causes for these types of fires is the improper disposal of smoking materials. This includes putting out cigarettes in planters or throwing them out car windows.
“When you throw your cigarette off the patio, out a window, it’s not extinguished and that thing will land, it will burn, it’ll stay hot for quite some time. Just like in your residence, if you somehow drop your cigarette or something like that into your couch, that can smoulder in your furniture for hours,” says Hicks.
LFES says the best way to dispose of smoking materials is to use a con-combustible container filled with water or sand.
Hicks adds that one of the dangers of complacency is the department’s ability to respond to calls.
“We do have adequate resources here in the City of Lethbridge. However, when they’re all out on a call, and regardless of what the call is, we need to be ready to go. So something as simple as a grass fire or structure fire being caused by a cigarette or cigar or anything like that, we just have to be smart.”
For more information, residents can call the Fire Prevention office at 403-320-3811 or visit the city’s website.