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CFO Sink: Floridians Must Be Cautious of Wildfire Conditions

5/4/2007

CONTACT:  Nina Banister or Brannon Jordan
(850) 413-2842
 
 
TALLAHASSEE –On the eve of Arson Awareness Week, May 6-12, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who also serves as State Fire Marshal, is calling on Floridians to take precautions with their property and promising aggressive action against anyone found responsible for arson. Floridians should be aware that the current extra-dry conditions are serving as fuel for wildfires across the state.
 
“Our landscape is extremely dry and vulnerable to forest fires,” said CFO Sink.  “I am urging Floridians to take precautions to protect their families and homes, take steps to ensure they are practicing fire safety and to immediately report suspected arson.”
 
Geography, fuel sources, and weather all influence the spread of wildfire, but statistics show that trimming and cleaning vegetation and properly storing flammable materials as far as possible from your home can profoundly improve your home’s chances of surviving a wildfire.  CFO Sink is urging Floridians to take the following precautions if their home is threatened by wildfire:
 
·         Keep a radio on for updates.
·         Remove combustible items from around your home, including lawn and poolside furniture, umbrellas, fabric awnings, tarp coverings, firewood, fuel tanks, and fuel-powered equipment.
·         Place valuables that will not be damaged by water in a pool or pond.
·         Close all doors and windows inside to prevent draft.
·         Take down flammable drapes, curtains, and close Venetian blinds.
·         Close gas valves and turn off all pilot lights.
·         Turn on a light in each room for visibility in case of heavy smoke.
·         Leave sprinklers on roofs or anything that might be damaged by fire, including fuel tanks.
·         Be ready to evacuate family and pets when fire nears or when instructed to do so by local officials.
·         Report suspected arson by calling 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NOARSON).
 
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