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A Growing Concern

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Police in Dufferin County have shut down nearly 50 grow house
operations in the past year -- and area residents should be concerned
about this growing trend.

These operations are not only illegal, but also cause property damage
and can be a danger to nearby residents.

The biggest danger is from a possible fire that could destroy the
house as well as other homes close by.

A great deal of electricity is required to set up a grow operation and
operators usually tamper with the home's electrical supply, bypassing
hydro meters and overloading heating and wiring systems.

Police estimate that one in 10 indoor marijuana operations will
eventually go up in flames.

Police also say that because it costs operators $5,000 to $20,000 to
set up a grow house, they often protect their operations by setting up
"booby traps" to discourage intruders. These traps have included live
wires on doors handles and windows, police say, which is a concern for
emergency personnel who come to the house, or other citizens, such as
door-to-door sales people, who may approach the house.

Sometimes the furnace in grow houses is re-vented to circulate the air
to feed the plants. This can result in backdrafting furnace fumes back
into the house. There can also be a build up of poisonous gases from
the chemicals used in the marijuana crop. These gases are also vented
outside and released into the neighbourhood.

And the hydro industry says consumers are paying the price for stolen
hydro -- estimated at $2,000 a month for one grow house.

Residents can play a role in combatting this problem -- by being aware
of what is going on in their neighbourhoods, knowing the signs of a
possible grow house (pungent smell, closed, blacked-out windows, and
large holes in a house's foundation used to route underground cables)
and alerting police if they suspect a house is being used for such an

Pubdate: Tue, 18 Nov 2003
Source: Banner, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003 The Orangeville Banner
Contact: banner@orangevillebanner.com
Website: Orangeville News - Latest Daily Breaking News Stories | Orangeville.com