Cannabis & fire safety

Cannabis & fire safety

Considering consuming non-medical cannabis at home or outdoors? Let’s spark a conversation about fire safety. Smoking and smoking materials are top causes of residential fires in B.C. and if you are smoking outside then you also run the risk of starting a wildfire or causing damage by not properly disposing of used cannabis products.

Cannabis fire safety at home

Follow the government of B.C.’s suggestions about cannabis and fire safety:

  • If you smoke – be it cannabis or tobacco – consider smoking outside and only where it is permitted, and encourage friends or family who smoke to do the same.
  • If you do smoke inside, use large, deep ashtrays. Be cautious when smoking on sofas and couches – a burning cigarette can smolder between the cushions of upholstered furniture and go unnoticed for hours.
  • Whether it is cannabis or tobacco, properly extinguish and dispose of all smoking materials in large, deep ashtrays. Do not discard of any smoking materials in garbage cans or vegetation such as mulch, planter boxes, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, leaves or other things that could ignite easily.
  • Don’t smoke in bed. Take special care of smoking materials if you’re smoking while drowsy or impaired by alcohol, cannabis, other drugs or medications.

Cannabis fire safety outdoors

Be aware of summer safety issues and know when and where you are permitted to consume cannabis when outdoors. Check the BC Wildfire Service website for news of fire bans or restrictions in your area.

In Vancouver, an average of 71 fires each year are caused when smoking materials, such as cigarette butts, are carelessly discarded. The City of Vancouver suggests helping to prevent destructive fires by properly disposing of your smoking materials, such as cigarette butts’in a waste receptacle, ashtray, or pocket ashtray and encouraging others to do the same.

BC is home to popular camping spots and smoking cannabis is sometimes permitted in federal, provincial, territorial and local government campgrounds, albeit generally limited to the visitor’s campsite and designated smoking areas. Public cannabis consumption rules can differ between federal, provincial, territorial and local government sites and also may differ between individual parks, so check the rules of each place before you visit.

Smokers must dispose of cigarette butts and other smoking materials responsibly, ensuring those materials are completely extinguished. Pack out all garbage from parks and outdoor areas. If you’re camping, look for official butt disposal containers or take the extinguished butt home for safe disposal.  To prevent your campfire from turning in to a wildfire, follow suggestions from the BC Wildfire Service.

Report wildfires by calling *5555 on a cell or 1 800 663-5555 toll-free.

Next article Cannabis and summer safety

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