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Division of State Fire Marshal

Fire Safety Tips

Home Heating Safety Tips

A Message from the State Fire Marshal:

Since the weather has gotten colder, my Division of State Fire Marshal has investigated a number of fires in which Floridians have died, fires that sadly were determined to have been started accidentally. These deaths were preventable. I urge you not to take the safety of your surroundings for granted. Take time to make sure that your family is protected by implementing these fire safety measures:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, such as the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable heater.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.
  • Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.


Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during the winter months. 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. I am saddened by these deaths and my prayers go out to the families who have lost a loved one. To find out more about the Division of State Fire Marshal and fire prevention practices, visit http://MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/SFM/.