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Dear Fellow Floridians,
The holidays are here, and throughout the Sunshine State our communities are buzzing with excitement during this wonderful time of year. As you enjoy this special time with family and friends, it's important to remember a few safety tips to avoid holiday accidents and scams.
As State Fire Marshal, I'm warning all Floridians to beware of the hazards associated with Christmas trees, lights and decorations. Keeping a dry Christmas tree is like inviting a forest fire into your home. Electrical or lighting equipment was involved in more than 44 percent of home Christmas tree fires. Be sure to water your tree often and always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving your home or going to bed.
With holiday online shopping in full swing, package delivery thieves use this time as an opportunity to scoop up your gifts to make a quick buck. This year alone, the U.S. is projected to exceed more than $135 billion in holiday online spending. You may consider investing in a smart doorbell or security camera. Smart doorbells will alert you when there is motion in the area. Also, consider asking a neighbor for help watching for deliveries. If all else fails, the safest delivery method is to pick packages up directly from your local post office. While this may not be the most convenient, you won't have to deal with missing items.
Protect yourself and your family this holiday season by using some simple tips to ensure your gift shopping - and deliveries - goes smoothly.
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida