Inglis Place business owner urges smokers to butt out before tossing lit cigarettes

Harry Sullivan
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Concern expressed over smoking in alleyways, parking lots

TRURO – An Inglis Place business owner is expressing fears about the potential for a major fire because of smokers who are carelessly tossing away their still-burning butts.

Terry Sack of Estate Jewellery and Pawnbrokers on Inglis Place would like to see Truro’s smoking ban in the area extended to the alleyways and parking lots at the rear of the businesses.

“I’d like to see a ban on smoking in the alleys and behind the buildings,” said Terry Sack, owner of Estate Jewellery and Pawnbrokers. “I mean, all it would take is for one building to catch fire … they’d be gone,” he told the Truro Daily News, of the tinder-dry stores and shops that line the street and which in some cases date back to the 1800s.

In a letter he recently sent to Truro council, Sack said the accumulation of butts in the alley beside his store has at times numbered more than 1,000, primarily he said, from the employees of neighbouring shops and businesses who go in the alleyways or behind the buildings to smoke.

Truro has enacted and enforces a ban on smoking anywhere on Inglis Place. But Sack said he believes that has simply moved the smokers into a less visible but more dangerous setting.

“I’ve watched people just flick their cigarettes, not even putting it out first. With an old wooden structure, it would only take one to start a fire and wipe out all of Inglis Place,” he said.

“I think it should be banned around all the buildings. If they want to smoke, let them smoke in their vehicles.”

Sack said his staff routinely cleans up some of the mess around his store but that does nothing to alleviate his fears of a fire, especially when he looks into the narrow space between two buildings and sees where butts have burned themselves out after being carelessly tossed away into a pile of dried leaves or pieces of scrap wood lying on the ground.

“You can see in the alleyway, that’s dangerous, especially with summer coming on,” he said. “I know the fire marshal and the chief are always downtown checking the buildings to make sure that everybody has fire extinguishers and that and they’re doing a good job on that end of it. But, I mean, what’s the sense of having that if it causes a fire in the back?”

A report to council indicated that the town’s bylaw enforcement officer had made regular checks to the area during business hours throughout March but did not record any infractions on Inglis Place.

“As human beings we have a tendency to push the envelope and I think what’s happening here is we have a lot of people thinking that if they take two steps off into the alley on Inglis Place, they are not on Inglis Place,” Coun. Raymond Tynes said during council discussion on Monday. “But people have to stop testing our will not to enforce the law.”

Town staff has been directed to take a look at better defining the smoking bylaw to extend the ban to the rear boundary of each property line along Inglis Place.

Twitter: @tdnharry


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Recent comments

  • Omy
    June 04, 2014 - 14:52

    I would like to start by saying that some of these comments, are well, scary. Where did this extreme hatred people are exuding over a cigarette come from? Yesterday, as I was walking downtown, I seen a young girl, maybe in her 20's picking up a smoke butt, and some woman in a jeep, whilst driving hollered out the window "Stop picking butts and get a job" It's these type of people and attitudes, that make me not want to live in the town of Truro. If you will recall, back in the 80's, there were 10 times as many 'smoke butts' lining the streets and parking lots, than there are now. Funny thing is, NO ONE CARED, (except the 'nannies' , you know those who interfere with and try to run other peopels lives, in the name of what's right or righteous?). For many years, no one has ever been concerned about a cigarette burning down an entire street that I've heard of. This sounds like another way to expunge smokers, (who by the way, are a large part of our community) guised as a "valid complaint'. I can't help but wonder how much further our town council is willing to go, to keep this up. Aren't the streetcleaners, that obsessivly run daily and cost our taxpayers anywhere's from from $25,000 (used) -$95,000 (new) enough? We've never needed them before, so obviously this is their purpose? I'm not saying cigarette butts are pleasant to look at, and I'm not saying it's healthy to smoke, I'm simply pointing out that this town is has a poor attitude and is degrading it's own citizens. Shameful.

  • janet McFarlane
    April 09, 2014 - 15:22

    I'm not a smoker, but I think ... Enough is Enough! There are so Very many places that Smokers are Not allowed to Smoke that it has now become Ridiculous... I say, put butt cans out, for most Will use the Cans, if provided... I'm sure these Business' don't mind The Smokers coming in and Buying Their Products!

  • Mattie Polson
    April 09, 2014 - 12:04

    I regularly see bank employees smoking near the propane tanks just off the east side alleys. Not sure who has tanks - maybe the Ho Ho Wok - but it is clearly unsafe.

  • Filthy Smoker
    April 09, 2014 - 09:18

    Like someone already said. Put some butt buckets out. It would greatly lower the risk of a fire and cut down on litter. For those saying, "But we have a bylaw, we don't need butt buckets." Get over yourselves. Wasn't the whole point of this article about fire hazard? Obviously the bylaw isn't working. Coffee cans work good. I use them at home.

  • I.M. Confused
    April 09, 2014 - 08:41

    I would like to see a smoking ban across town and bible hill. If you want to smoke, do it on your own property. I work in an office on Prince St. and the amount of butts that are outside right now from the snow melting is disgusting. Anyone who leaves their butts on the street should be fined for littering!

  • Wandy
    April 09, 2014 - 06:10

    He's right; I've seen it happen all the time- they're done their cigarette, and just flick them...still lit. It really is dangerous. Butts everywhere is bad enough, but for them still be smoldering in an alley- not a good scenario.

  • Ok
    April 09, 2014 - 00:40

    This is the best we can come up with for a headlining article? No wonder no one with a high school diploma stays here.

  • chief wiggam
    April 08, 2014 - 18:38

    exactly!! why aren't they charged with littering too? is this not littering? i am so sick and tired of having to run a gauntlet of smoke into rinks across this province. malls are another putrid place to have to walk into. what a disgusting mess smokers make.

    • Phil
      April 14, 2014 - 09:05

      there was little mess till all the non smokers were so educated to push all the smokers outside but did not have the intelligence to put a place for the buts. perhaps this is karma and we should make the non-smokers pick up the buts for their lack of foresight

  • Roy
    April 08, 2014 - 17:27

    Instead of complaining about the problem, why don't you do something about it. Maybe, get the other stores to contribute to a couple of butt containers.

    • Karen P
      April 09, 2014 - 06:56

      Because people aren't supposed to be smoking there in the first place. Some smokers have no respect for others. If you want to smoke that is fine - just do t smoke where others have to go near it.

    • I.M. Confused
      April 09, 2014 - 08:44

      Did you read the article? He went to town council. I think that's doing something! More than most would do.