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.
© HARRY SULLIVAN – TRURO DAILY NEWS
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.