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CFO Sink Urges Safety Steps during 2009 Fire Prevention Week


CONTACT: Kyra Jennings or Jennifer Hirst, (850) 413-2842
TALLAHASSEE— Florida CFO and State Fire Marshal Alex Sink today recognized Fire Prevention Week 2009 by asking Floridians to take the necessary steps to safeguard against fires. During Fire Prevention Week, October 4-10, 2009, State Fire Marshal officials are participating in events across the state focusing on promoting fire safety and prevention for Florida residents.
“By working together and taking commonsense steps, Floridians can reduce the threat that fires pose to our property, forests, and even our lives,” said CFO Sink. “Many fire hazards go undetected, but by following a few simple steps, Floridians can help better protect their families and the firefighters sworn to help them.”
The Florida Cabinet recently passed a resolution sponsored by CFO Sink in support of Fire Prevention Week 2009.  Last year, 179 deaths in Florida occurred as a result of fires.  More than 1,200 citizens, including over 300 firefighters were injured in fire-related incidents and home and property damage from fires cost approximately $500 million.  Forest and wildfires also contribute to thousands of acres burned each year. 
“Many fires can be prevented just by following a few, simple rules, which is why fire safety education is a must for every citizen,” CFO Sink continued.  “I urge Floridians to participate in Fire Prevention Week activities in their area, so that together, we can reduce the threat posed by fires.”
Some quick fire safety tips for Floridians to keep in mind during Fire Prevention Week:
  • Install and maintain a working smoke alarm outside of every sleep area and remember to change the battery at least once a year.
  • Designate two escape routes from each bedroom and practice them regularly.
  • Teach everyone the "Stop, Drop, and Roll" technique in case clothing catches on fire.
  • Avoid storing old mattresses in the home or garage.
  • Teach kids that matches, lighters and candles are tools, not toys. If you suspect that a child is playing with fire, check under beds and in closets for telltale signs like burned matches. Matches and lighters should be stored in a secure drawer or cabinet.
As State Fire Marshal, CFO Sink aims to educate citizens and her State Fire Marshal Division holds numerous educational seminars and training throughout the year.  The Bureau of Fire Prevention annually inspects more than 16,000 public and private buildings including public schools, university facilities and adult living facilities; enforcing regulations regarding the handling of explosives materials, boiler safety, and fire system installation contractors to ensure public safety.
For more information and fire safety tips, visit CFO Sink’s State Fire Marshal web site at or the National Fire Protection Agencies web site at
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As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, CFO Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services.  A successful businesswoman with nearly three decades of experience in the private sector, Sink is serving her first term as Florida's CFO.  As CFO, Sink's priorities include using her business experience to cut wasteful government spending, cracking down on financial and insurance fraud and reforming the state government's contracting practices. Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.