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State Fire Marshal Reminds Floridians: Change Clocks, Change Smoke Detector Batteries This Weekend

4/4/2003

CONTACT: Justin Glover
(850) 413-2842

TALLAHASSEE – Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who also serves as Florida's State Fire Marshal, advised Floridians to check the batteries in their smoke detectors this weekend as they reset their clocks to observe daylight savings time.

"Smoke detectors save lives," Gallagher said. "Take the time to make sure your smoke detector is in good working order when you reset your clock."

Gallagher also advised Florida families to develop an escape plan and designate a meeting location, like a neighbor's home.

In 2001, fires killed 159 Floridians, including three firefighters, and injured 617 people. Of the nearly 7,000 fires to which the State Fire Marshal's Office responded, 74 percent of the structures had no smoke detector.

This has prompted the State Fire Marshal's office to offer warnings to the public as well as initiate a pilot program to distribute free smoke detectors to needy families. Last year, 3,000 smoke detectors were distributed to two Florida cities for installation in at-risk homes. Other cities are slated to get free smoke detectors as well, including Belle Glade and Apalachicola.

For more fire safety tips, log on to www.fldfs.com and click on the link to State Fire Marshal.