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CFO and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater Recognizes Fire Prevention Week

10/12/2011

Contact: Alexis Lambert or Deborah Cox
850-413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE—Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater sponsored a resolution this week recognizing Oct. 9 through Oct. 15 as Fire Prevention Week. Out of nearly 60,400 fires reported in Florida last year, more than 59,000 were fires that could have been prevented.  Just last year, 40 Floridians died in accidental fires.
 
“We mourn those Floridians who lost their lives in accidental fires this past year. These tragedies remind us of the importance of protecting our loved ones,” said CFO Atwater.  “One of the most important things you can do for the safety of your family is to make sure that you have a fire safety plan in place and that you check your home’s smoke alarms regularly.”
 
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, in 2009, U.S. fire departments responded to 362,500 home fires. These fires caused 12,650 civilian injuries, 2,565 civilian deaths, and $7.6 billion in direct damage.
 
The leading causes of home fires are unattended cooking, cooking equipment, heating equipment, smoking materials and candles. Roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that were either broken or had dead batteries. 
 
CFO Atwater recommends that you follow these fire prevention tips:
 
• Check your home’s smoke alarms regularly.
• Develop and practice a home fire escape plan.
• Install and maintain an automatic home fire sprinkler system.
• Do not leave food unattended while it is cooking.
• Ensure that home heating equipment is cleaned and well maintained.
• Do not leave burning candles unattended.
 
The 2011 Fire Prevention Week theme is, “It’s Fire Prevention Week.  Protect your Family from Fire!” Fire Prevention Week is part of a national campaign that was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people and left 100,000 homeless.
 
To find out more about the Division of State Fire Marshal and fire prevention practices, please visit www.MyFloridaCFO.com.
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending.