Rental Property: Now Smoke Free.
Shiny things and new smoking bans always capture my attention. With regards to the latter, I’ve been hearing about more and more property owners issuing building-wide smoking bans in their apartments and they’ve got some pretty good reasons.
Take a look at Omaha, Nebraska. It was recently Fire Prevention Week and firefighters snuffed out flames at three apartments, all of which were started by the careless disposal of cigarette butts. In response, the Douglas County Housing Authority- owners of a significant number of rental properties in Omaha- will be putting a smoking ban into effect in all their apartments starting in January.
It’s understandable that some people will be pretty upset by the sudden change. To them I say keep in mind: although your apartment may be your home, it is not your property. The owners have a right to protect their investment. We’re not talking about stopping the yellowing of walls and curtains here. We’re talking about preventing an entire building from going ablaze.
I was visiting with the folks and chatting with my mom about these apartment smoking bans when she started telling me about my grandfather. He was a chimney sweep in Scotland with a love of whiskey and hand-rolled cigarettes. He’d often come home covered in soot, have a night cap and then smoke himself to sleep. Yes, he would literally fall asleep with a lit cigarette in his mouth. This, of course, usually resulted in him waking up with his beard and mattress aflame. To solve the problem, he shaved his beard and wouldn’t go to bed without a bucket of water on the night stand. Personally, I think a ban will prove to be a much more effective fire prevention method.
The moral of my story? If building management is thinking about following suit in your apartment and you don’t want to move or quit smoking, grab an e-cig. If only my grandfather had a Finiti back in the day.