COVID-19 Update: All offices visits will now require a scheduled appointment. Please contact us to schedule an appointment.

If you live in the Edmonton area, you’ve surely seen smoking-related apartment fires pop up more frequently on the local news. So far this year, there have been more than 54 smoking-related residential fires in Edmonton, resulting in more than $19 million in damage. When you live in an apartment or condo, one carelessly discarded cigarette butt is enough to send the entire complex up in flames. Given how common these types of disasters continue to become, it’s especially important now to make sure you have adequate condo insurance or tenants insurance for your Edmonton residence.

Condo Living is Becoming Increasingly Popular

Hundreds of residential fires are caused each year in Canada by the improper disposal of smoking materials like cigarettes and cigars. These types of fires are becoming increasingly common in areas where condos are emerging as a popular, affordable alternative to buying single-family homes. Cities like Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton have seen a rise in smoking-related fires in residential buildings in just the last few years.

These fires often start on balconies or wooden decks with a smoker failing to discard the remainder of a cigarette in an ashtray. Often, cigarette butts will be left in flowerpots, where they can catch fire. Peat moss, which is often found in planters, is highly combustible when dry. Leftover cigarette butts also easily blow onto nearby balconies where they can ignite if they come into contact with wood, plastic furniture or cushions made from flammable materials.

One particularly devastating fire occurred just this past summer in Edmonton, when a 90-unit apartment building in Blue Quill was completely destroyed after a smoker put out a cigarette in a balcony flowerpot. Dozens of people lost their homes and all their possessions in the fire which was likely causes by the negligence of a single person.

How to Help Prevent Smoking-Related Fires in your Building

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services is urging city residents to take steps to prevent smoking-related fires. If you’re a smoker, or if you have guests who smoke, keep these safety tips in mind and do your best to enforce them:

  • Never extinguish smoking materials in plant pots as they contain flammable materials
  • Never toss smoking materials or cigarette butts over the edge of a balcony
  • Never discard smoking materials on the ground, in garbage cans, or in dry, grassy areas
  • Always explain the rules to your guests
  • Always dispose of smoking materials in non-combustible ashtrays. This includes cigarettes, cigars, joints and matchsticks.
  • Always keep a smoking receptacle on your balcony when guests come over. Even a bottle or glass filled with sand and water is much safer than risking the dangers of a fire.

Insure Yourself Against the Dangers of Smoking-Related Fires

Even if you don’t smoke yourself, smokers in your building and general vicinity can put your home at risk. Home and tenant insurance policies are designed to make sure your home and belongings are protected in case of such a disaster. Without homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, most people wouldn’t be able to afford to replace their homes and everything in them if something were to happen.

At MBS Insurance Brokers, we’ll work with you to find a comprehensive homecondo or tenant insurance policy that’s tailored to fit your needs and adequately protect your Edmonton home. Contact us today to make an appointment at (780) 436-7880 or request a free quote.

How an Insurance Broker Saves You Time and Money

Do you know the benefits of an insurance broker?

Suppose you’re looking for the best insurance coverage at the best rates in Edmonton. In that case, you’ll first want to understand the benefits of an insurance broker and how they can help protect you in all sorts of different situations – whether it be saving you money, time or giving you simple peace of mind.

What Are the Benefits of an Insurance Broker?

Here are some of the many benefits of an insurance broker.


1. Saves Time

An insurance broker does all the work for you, so you don’t have to spend your valuable time shopping around for insurance. Instead, you simply provide your broker with information about your needs, and they shop the markets on your behalf.


2. Saves Money

Insurance brokers work with many different partners to find the best deals on the insurance that works for you. They take all your needs into account and make recommendations that are in your best interest. They have relationships with many insurance partners and can negotiate competitive rates and discounts, saving you money in the long run.

3. Expert Knowledge and Advice

An insurance broker provides you with the support and expertise you need to find coverage that suits your needs. They work with various products and services to find the coverage that best suits you. In addition, they can draw from an extensive knowledge base and experience to advise you on the best options. 

Insurance Brokers provide expert and unbiased advice. A wealth of knowledge about coverage and market rates combined with expert risk assessment ensures your possessions and business are adequately protected. Whether you are looking into auto insurance rates, tenant insurance, or home insurance rates, your insurance broker can help you every step of the way.

You can utilize their expertise to quickly identify your options and rely on their unbiased advice to help you make the best-informed decision for your situation.


4. Working For Your Best Interests

Since insurance brokers do not work with one particular company, they have nothing to gain from recommending a specific product. The insurance company also pays them a standard commission. Thus, there is no financial incentive to choose one insurer over another.

Insurance brokers have your best interests in mind. You can count on them to find you the best rate possible, which can give you the peace of mind you need. You can rest assured knowing that if you ever need to file a claim, one of our brokers will be there by your side to guide you every step of the way. They act as an advisor on insurance-related matters. They will shop the market for the best coverage and rates for you. Since fulfilling your needs is their only priority, they will provide independent, unbiased advice on the right coverage for your situation.

5. Privileged access and rates

Insurance Brokers have access to a wide selection of the best insurance companies in the country. These insurance companies are only accessible by Insurance Brokers. They do not deal with the public directly or with Direct Writers. Brokers enjoy long-standing relationships with these insurance companies. Still, they do not have an affiliation with any specific insurer, enabling brokers to provide you with a broader range of options at competitive rates.


6. Transparency

Insurance brokers must give full disclosure about their compensation and its effect on your insurance premium.  They are also required to declare any financial links with specific companies that may be a conflict of interest, enabling you to make the best-informed decision.


7. Risk and Advocacy Experience

Extensive experience dealing with different clients and claim situations equips insurance brokers with a broader perspective on how to reduce your risk. Also, in the event of a claim, you can count on your broker to act as your advocate with the insurance company and handle your claim fairly and promptly.

Speak to MBS Insurance in Edmonton about your Coverage

Reach out to MBS Insurance today to determine your home, auto, and commercial coverage options. Over the past 45 years, our experienced team of insurance brokers in Edmonton has earned the trust and loyalty of our clients by delivering superior products and services. We understand your needs and provide you with the best protection and rates.

There are many benefits of an insurance broker. We can help you understand the intricacies of your insurance plan while saving you money at the same time. We are a trusted insurance provider in Edmonton and provide personal and commercial insurance policies to people living in Alberta. We offer the best rates on recreational, auto, property, commercial, and group insurance policies. 

Contact us online for a free quote or by phone at 780-436-7880.

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more!



This article was originally published on October 7, 2016, and updated for 2021.