Fla. Fire Marshal Reminds Residents of Preparing for Winter

October 27, 2003

Last weekend as Floridians turned their clocks back to Daylight Saving Time, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Tom Gallagher said it’s also time to put a fresh battery in the smoke alarm – or install an alarm.

“Working smoke detectors provide time to escape, reducing the risk of death or injury from fire by as much as 50 percent,” Gallagher said.

Last year, 168 Floridians reportedly died from fire-related injuries and more than 900 were injured. Of the structure fires reported last year to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, 91 percent had no smoke detector.

Earlier this month, a Pensacola woman died in a fire at her home. Investigators said her smoke alarm had a dead battery, and that it functioned properly when tested with a new one. Just last week, four members of an Immokalee family died in a fire in their home. Investigators said there was no smoke alarm.

“More home fires occur in the fall and winter than at any other time of the year,” Gallagher said.

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