Weed le­gal­iza­tion wor­ries Hal­i­fax Fire due to haz­ards

StarMetro Halifax - - COVER STORY - YVETTE D’ENTREMONT Con­tinue read­ing about the fire for le­gal­iza­tion and fires at thes­tar.com/hal­i­fax

The city’s deputy fire chief is learn­ing far more about rolling joints, grow-ops and the dif­fer­ent ways to con­sume cannabis than he ever ex­pected.

That’s be­cause the up­com­ing le­gal­iza­tion of recre­ational weed does pose some po­ten­tial fire risks that many con­sumers prob­a­bly aren’t think­ing about. These in­clude care­less dis­posal of smok­ing ma­te­ri­als, badly man­u­fac­tured va­por­iz­ers over­heat­ing and catch­ing fire as well as peo­ple try­ing to grow their own with­out us­ing the proper lamps or equip­ment.

“We’re get­ting ready for it. We’re still gath­er­ing data and in­for­ma­tion from de­part­ments, es­pe­cially in the U.S., who are work­ing in this al­ready to see what they’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing and what their out­comes are,” said Hal­i­fax Re­gional Fire and Emer­gency deputy chief Roy Hol­lett.

“I think we’ll be work­ing with other agen­cies putting a blitz out on safety, even how if you’re go­ing to have a home grow op­er­a­tion, how to do it safely. We’re look­ing at way more than just the care­less smok­ing piece. It’s the grow­ing, it’s the heat­ing lamps, elec­tri­cal power, fer­til­iz­ers.”

Hol­lett has been speak­ing with of­fi­cials in places like Colorado, where recre­ational cannabis has been le­gal since 2012. But he’s also been learn­ing first­hand from grow­ers and reg­u­lar users.

“I don’t think it’ll be blown off the scale, but I think we’ll see a slight in­crease (in res­i­den­tial fires). We’ll prob­a­bly see new users who’ve never tried it and ... like al­co­hol, it af­fects ev­ery­one dif­fer­ently,” he said.

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