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Anchorage Fire Department
Saturday July 4th, 2020 :: 10:40 a.m. AKDT


Discarded Cigarette Butts Create a Fire Hazard

Not many people think of potted plants as fire hazards, and sometimes smokers will attempt to extinguish their cigarette in flowerpots or mulch. The soil in planters is frequently packed with combustible materials which can ignite. Some of these fires ignite quickly, but for others, the fire smolders for hours or even days before finally transitioning to open flame.
Improper discarding of cigarettes can ignite flowerpots and planters. These small fires can easily catch the building walls and overhangs on fire. The fire quickly extends into the attic via the eves and into the residence via the windows and doors. Wooden decks and other backyard combustible items add additional fuel to the fire.
Outdoor fires often go unnoticed longer than indoor fires, especially at night when no one is present outside, and the smoke is not detected as there are no smoke alarms outside of a home.
Smokers should use deep, wide ashtrays to dispose of butts when smoking outside the home in their yard or on their deck. A metal can with sand or water are safe and effective in disposing cigarette butts and are the preferred option.
The AFD wishes everyone to have a safe and festive Independence Day and please remember it is unlawful to knowingly sell, possess, or use any fireworks within the Municipality of Anchorage. Call 311 to report illegal fireworks use. Call 911 only if a fire or significant injury is involved.

Do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Practice physical distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from others not of your household, wearing a facemask to protect those around you, and wash your hands often.


Anchorage Fire Department
100 E 4th Ave
Anchorage, AK 99501

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 907-227-9473

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