Apartment smoking ban could cause more fires

A smoking ban in apartment buildings may actually increase the number of fires caused by cigarettes, an Ottawa fire spokesman said Wednesday.

Careless smoking has caused 24 fires this year — 12 of them in multi-unit dwellings, according to Ottawa Fire Services.

While prohibiting smoking should in theory reduce the number of fires, people will continue to light up, according to division chief of prevention Steve Armstrong.

“Instead of smoking outside on balconies, they will move indoors and hide the fact that they are smoking which could end up in more fires, not less,” he said.

Information sessions for property owners and managers are being held on Friday at the public library on Centrepointe Dr. in Nepean where Ottawa Public Health and the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association will present the benefits of voluntarily converting to smoke-free buildings.

kelly.roche@sunmedia.ca

http://www.ottawasun.com/news/ottawa/2010/11/17/16192071.html

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