06/15/2015 07:33 EDT | Updated 06/16/2016 05:59 EDT

Edmonton Fire Department Tries To Douse Condo Fires With PR Campaign

A man smokes a cigarette on May 9, 2015 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)

EDMONTON - Edmonton is launching a new campaign aimed at educating smokers, especially those who smoke on balconies, in the wake of several multimillion-dollar fires.

Dubbed “Stub it Right, Don’t Ignite” the new initiative will also target condo boards.

Fire chief Ken Block said since 2010, improperly discarded smoking material has resulted in fires causing $45 million damage.

He says they want to educate people who live in buildings put up before 2008 to bring them in line with newer buildings.

The building code changed to retrofit balconies with sprinker systems or at least building materials that are non-combustible.

Block says another goal is to have condos install industrial-grade ashtrays on each balcony.

“I’d like to think that common sense would prevail, but that’s not been our experience. We continue to experience these massive condo fires," Block said.

“We will be reaching out to the condo associations and meeting with them."

A fire started by a cigarette put into a diaper pail on the balcony of a condo in northeast Edmonton on May 25 left 155 residents without a home.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries fighting the blaze and it caused $16 million in damage.



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