‘Kill your butts not your neighbours,’ fire prevention campaign tells Parkdale residents

‘Kill your butts not your neighbours,’ fire prevention campaign tells Parkdale residents
CP24

A new fire prevention campaign is urging the residents of Parkdale to put an end to “careless" and “preventable” fires started by residents tossing their lit cigarette butts off of balconies.

Speaking at the launch of the public education campaign on Monday, Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said in the last five years, Parkdale has seen more fires started from careless smoking than any other neighbourhood in Toronto.
 
“Many of these fires occurred on the balconies of highrise buildings as a result of people flicking their cigarette butts off their balcony,” Pegg said.
 
“The goal of this important campaign is to help Parkdale residents realize the importance of fully extinguishing their cigarettes before discarding them because a lit cigarette can smolder for hours.”
 
Pegg noted that a smoldering cigarette can ignite combustible material on balconies, including planter box soil, Peat Moss, and furniture.
 
“It can easily start a fire, can destroy property, and place lives at risk,” he said.
 
In 2017, 51 fires across Toronto were caused by people flicking their cigarette butts off of balconies without properly extinguishing them and so far this year, there have been 28.
 
“This is an important message and we are driving that message with a direct, bold, and hard-hitting campaign,” Pegg said.
 
One of the posters Toronto Fire will be distributing as part of the campaign shows a teddy bear surrounded by flames with the caption, “Kill your butts not your neighbours.”
 
Another sign reads, "Don't be a flicking idiot."
 
The public education messages will be placed at TTC shelters, restaurants, bars, condos, rooming houses, and construction sites around Parkdale, Pegg said.
 
“I am asking you to help us to stop the behaviours that are starting these fires,” he added.
 
“Together, we can reduce the number of fires started by improperly extinguished cigarette butts.”