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**B-ROLL AND PHOTO RELEASE** CFO & State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis Hosts Christmas Tree Burn Demonstration and Shares Holiday Fire Safety Tips

12/5/2023
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842

**B-ROLL AND PHOTO RELEASE**
CFO & State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis Hosts Christmas Tree Burn Demonstration and Shares Holiday Fire Safety Tips

To view and download video from the event, click here.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –  Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis hosted a Christmas tree burn demonstration with the Tallahassee Fire Department and urged Floridians to know the potential dangers of Christmas trees and holiday decorations. If not maintained and properly removed, trees can become dry and easily ignite. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), almost two in five home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems. Between 2017-2021, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 150 home fires due to burning Christmas trees. Reports say, these fires cause an annual average of 4 civilian deaths, 33 civilian injuries, and $14 million in property damage and Christmas lights are the primary cause of these fires 40 percent of the time.

CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “It was an honor to partner with the Tallahassee Fire Department today and host the annual Christmas tree burn demonstration to raise awareness of the potential dangers of Christmas trees and decorations. While Christmas trees are an important part of the holiday season, it is critical that Floridians maintain and dispose of their trees to prevent possible fire-related incidents. Always remember that a dry tree is a dangerous tree. Watering your Christmas tree and unplugging holiday lights prior to going to sleep and leaving the house are simple ways to make sure you enjoy the holidays safely.”

Tallahassee Fire Chief Gene Saunders said, “Taking the necessary fire prevention measures in your own home this holiday season can help keep you and your family safe from potential distaster. Through outreach and education, the Tallahassee Fire Department and our State partners want to ensure every home is fire safe this 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.

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About CFO Jimmy Patronis  
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).

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