With New Year’s Eve on the horizon, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis on Thursday provided several fire safety tips to help Floridians welcome in the new year safely.
Patronis warned the holidays can be a dangerous time for families. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fireworks cause about 19,500 fires each year and result in an estimated $105 million in direct property damage nationwide.
“While we are all eager to celebrate the New Year and have a good time on New Year’s Eve, please remember it’s important to celebrate safely,” Patronis said.
Patronis urged Floridians to steer clear of unapproved sparklers. Though seemingly safe, unapproved sparklers can pose a risk to users, particularly young children. Never use sparklers without close adult supervision, Patronis said.
“Never let young children use fireworks or sparklers as they can cause third-degree burns if not handled properly,” Patronis explained. “Glow sticks are a fantastic way for young kids to celebrate safely.”
He also said Floridians should throw away “dud” fireworks. Relighting a dud firework, he warned, can cause an explosion and lead to serious injury. Dud fireworks should always be drenched in water before being tossed away, Patronis added.
“Celebrating with fireworks can be fun, but can also cause an injury or property damage, and that’s the last thing anyone wants when they are having a good time,” Patronis said.
Keep neighborhood pets and partners around, too. Patronis encouraged Floridians to use fireworks at a safe, comfortable distance from others.
“Be mindful that many in our state, including first responders and veterans, suffer from PTSD and your celebration could impact their symptoms,” Patronis said.
Not least, Patronis said all Floridians should keep a fire extinguisher handy.
“As we ring in 2022, I encourage you to follow a few fire safety tips to ensure you and your loved ones have a safe and fun New Year’s Eve,” Patronis said.