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**Photo Release** CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis Offers 4 Christmas Tree Fire Safety Tips

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –  This holiday season, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis warns Floridians of the hazards associated with Christmas trees, lights and decorations. Between 2013-2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an annual average 160 home fires that started due to issues with Christmas trees according to the National Fire Protection Association.
CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “Keeping a dry Christmas tree is like inviting a forest fire into your home. Electrical distribution 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. Following a few important fire safety tips can help you and your family avoid holiday disasters.”
4 Christmas Fire Safety Tips
1. Water your Christmas tree. A dry tree can lead to disaster, make sure you keep water in your tree stand daily.
2. Always turn the tree lights off. Tree fires don't start on their own. Be sure to turn off lights or unplug them before going to bed or leaving your home. It is important to use lights that are approved by a national testing organization.
3. Never use lit candles to decorate your Christmas tree. A dry Christmas tree paired with a lit candle can lead to devastation.
4. Replace and repair damaged lights. If a string of lights has broken, worn cords or loose bulb connections, be sure to replace them. Carefully read all manufacturer’s instructions before using.
**Tree Donated by Havana Christmas Tree Farm
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