Smokers cautioned to be wary of plant pots

As part of the Home Safety Program, the City of Red Deer is encouraging residents to be extra careful when it comes to smoking with plant pots with peat moss nearby.

As part of the Home Safety Program, the City of Red Deer is encouraging residents to be extra careful when it comes to smoking with plant pots with peat moss nearby.

In 2011, fires started by smokers using plant pots as ashtrays caused over $1.1 million in residential losses.

“Be a responsible smoker,” said Fire Prevention Officer Wes Van Bavel.

“Planter pots are not ashtrays.”

A dried out plant pot still full of peat moss will work to insulate the lit cigarette when it is being used as an ashtray, said Van Bavel.

The soil will heat and begin to smolder. Smoldering can continue for several hours, consuming more plant pot material.

When enough oxygen is available, the material can then break into flame.

Other combustible material nearby could result in a full-blown fire.

To avoid these dangers, keep ashtrays around planted pot areas for those who smoke.

Keep household plants well watered and maintained and get rid of dead plants.

Red Deer’s Home Safety Program is a free service with the city’s Emergency services personnel that offers residents a comprehensive fire and injury home safety check from May to October.

The program seeks to identify hazards and install smoke alarms where needed.

For more information, visit or contact Van Bavel at 403-356-2457.

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