Smokefree rentals are quickly becoming the industry standard. One of the best reasons to implement a no-smoking policy is the reduction in fire risk, especially in multi-unit properties. Rich Hoover of the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal says “Even though most Oregonians don’t smoke these days, smoking remains a leading cause of fire deaths.”
It only takes one tenant with one cigarette to start a major fire. Joanne Hatch from Tualatin Valley Fire Department says, “Smokefree properties help protect everyone in the buildings from fire, not to mention protecting the buildings themselves from potential serious damage.”
Paul Corah from Portland Fire & Rescue says, “In 2011, we responded to almost 500 fires caused by cigarettes. Asking people to smoke outside their dwellings and to extinguish their cigarette butts safely in water or sand would save thousands of dollars, and even more importantly, lives.”
Most smokers in Oregon don’t smoke inside their homes these days. If you have a resident who smokes outside, make sure that person:
• Is at least twenty feet from the building
• Smokes away from things that can burn such as bark dust and planters
• Safely disposes of their cigarette butts in a non-combustible container with water or sand
New SmokeFree/FireSafe tools are available online to help landlords make their properties safer and to educate residents about doing their part. Download the landlord and resident fliers at http://smokefreehousinginfo.com/pages/SmokeFree-FireSafe.html. On the same website look for tools and information to help landlords implement a no-smoking policy.
Steve McAdoo from Clackamas Fire District #1 says, “ I encourage landlords to use these great tools and steps to help protect their renters and their properties.”
This information brought to you by the Oregon Smokefree Housing Project, funded by the Oregon Public Health Division, and your local firefighters.