STATE FIRE MARSHAL
REMINDS RESIDENTS TO PLAN FOR WINTER
Now that the weather is cooling off, Chief Financial Officer and
State Fire Marshal Tom Gallagher is urging Floridians to think about how to stay
safe when trying to stay warm. Begin with a fresh battery in the smoke alarm,
he said, or install an alarm if you don’t have one.
alarms provide time to escape, reducing the risk of death or injury from fire by
as much as 50 percent,” Gallagher said, noting that working smoke alarms were
present in fewer than 5 percent of the 58,000 fire incidents reported to the
State Fire Marshal’s Office in 2003.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office, housed within the Department of Financial
Services, has launched a number of programs this year aiming to educate
Floridians on fire prevention and safety – from bookmarks with safety tips for
third-graders to a program on DVD for senior citizens.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office places special emphasis on education for
children and the elderly, two age groups who are most often injured or killed in
a fire. For information about those programs and safety tips for all ages,
particularly urges Floridians to follow these cold-weather safety tips:
- Have gas heaters and other gas appliances checked for
leaks or damage.
- Have air conditioner handlers checked for any dust
that could spark a fire when the heater is turned on for the first time.
- Keep space heaters and other heat sources at least
three feet away from furniture, walls and drapes.
- Clean chimneys regularly, even if they are not used
often. Besides soot, birds and squirrels may leave behind unexpected items
– such as a nest. Do not burn anything in the fireplace other than
- Burn candles in a sturdy holder and keep them away
from children and pets.
- Review and practice your family’s fire escape plan.
The skyline for November is beautiful
Lakeland in Polk County.