Soon, smokers may not be allowed to light a cigarette in any alleyway in Calhoun.

The City Council is discussing putting an ordinance in place prohibiting smoking in these areas because of the fire hazard it poses.

The idea was put forth by City Attorney Bill Bailey, who said he routinely observes groups of 10 to 15 people gathered in a downtown alley to smoke.

“They’re very dangerous places,” he said of the closely-cordoned areas. “I think it’s a very serious matter.”

“One flip of a cigarette into a dumpster, and we’ve got a problem,” he added.

One specific alleyway he referred to is home to a furniture refinishing business, he said; fire near components used to treat wood could be a serious fire hazard.

Council members agreed to consider an ordinance banning smoking in alleyways, but Council Member David Hammond pointed out that it would have to be enforced throughout the entire city.

“One fire downtown is a disaster,” he said. “But it’s (the ordinance) got to be enforced to everybody.”