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  Vol. 9, No. 4 - December 2020


Dear Fellow Floridians,

The holidays are here and we are nearing the end of 2020, a year that has impacted many individuals, families and business throughout the Sunshine State. It's important to remember a few safety tips to avoid holiday accidents or becoming a victim of a scam.

As State Fire Marshal, I'm reminding all Floridians of the hazards associated with Christmas trees, lights and decorations. I recently hosted the Tallahassee Fire Department's annual Christmas tree burn. We produced a riveting video demonstration of how a hazard can quickly become a tragedy - you can view the video at this link. Here are a few tips to stay safe this holiday season.

Five Christmas Fire Safety Tips

  1. Check the water in your tree stand every day. When your Christmas tree dries out, it becomes more flammable and can lead to disaster.
  2. Never leave tree lights on overnight or while you are out. Not unplugging lighting can be an accident waiting to happen. Additionally, always purchase lights that have been accepted by a national testing organization.
  3. Open flames don't belong near your Christmas tree. A lit candle and a Christmas tree can cause a dangerous situation in a hurry.
  4. Change out damaged or broken lights. Don't wait until it is too late. If a there is a problem with a bulb or string of lights, replace it right away. Always read all manufacturer's instructions prior to making any repairs.
  5. Do not store your tree in the home or garage. A dry tree can pose a serious fire risk when left in a garage or car port. Do not place your tree against the home before disposal.
  6. As we look forward to the New Year, we have hope for the mitigation and eventual end to the COVID-19 pandemic and a return to more normal personal and professional lives. I look forward to serving our Department licensees and the public as Florida's Chief Financial Officer in 2021 and beyond.



Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

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