Saturday, December 19, 2009


State emergency management and fire officials are urging South Florida residents to check their heating appliances and smoke detectors in preparation for colder temperatures that will begin in the region tonight.

“Overnight low temperatures are forecast to reach the lower 40s to lower 50s beginning tonight and continuing through Monday night across metropolitan and coastal areas of South Florida,” said Acting State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “To ward off the chill, many residents may be turning on heaters for the first time this fall and we are urging them to do so safely.”

Residents should check the operation of their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, making sure to replace the old batteries. Electrical extension cords need to be in proper condition and correct rating for the heater. Persons should not overload wall plugs and individual circuits with multiple appliances.

Some important safety tips to keep in mind from the State Fire Marshal:

*Have gas heaters and other gas appliances checked for leaks or damage.
*Check and clean air conditioners for any dust that could spark a fire when turned on for the first time.
*Keep space heaters at least three feet away from furniture, walls and drapes. Never use space heaters in sleeping areas.
*Do not burn anything in the fireplace other than firewood.
*Burn candles in a sturdy holder and extinguish all flame when leaving a room or at bedtime.
*Keep children and pets away from any flame or fire source.
*Review and practice your family’s fire escape plan.

State and federal recovery teams will meet with Broward County officials Sunday to conduct preliminary damage assessments in the areas impacted by heavy rain earlier this week.

The State Watch Office in Tallahassee continues to monitor conditions with Operations staff and to assist with any requests from county emergency management partners.

For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, please visit: All students, teachers and parents can find educational information and free downloadable materials at: And for the latest situation and flash reports go to: .

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