GREAT FALLS- After responding to a few accidental fires, Great Falls Fire Rescue wants to warn the public against using potting soil as a makeshift ashtray.
According to firefighters, using potting soil to put out cigarettes is dangerous because of how flammable it is, with many having easily burnable components, like wood chips, tree bark and fertilizers that could fuel potential blazes.
Unfortunately, GFFR says they are seeing an increase in these types of fires, especially during the wintertime, when outdoor planters typically dry up.
On top of that, BJay Perry, Battalion Chief for Great Falls Fire Rescue, says another trend could be to blame:
“People typically aren't allowed to smoke inside, so people will smoke outside more often and it's just an easy access point to put out a cigarette," Perry said.
That's not to say you should stop getting planters or pot soil though.
Instead, GFFR recommends watering your potted plants, taking them away from doorways, and buying actual ashtrays, or a coffee cup with sand, to safely put out cigarettes.