BOCA RATON, FL – December 9, 2020 – Hurricane season officially ended on November 30, but many residents still have hurricane shutters up. Boca Raton Fire Rescue Services is encouraging residents to remove hurricane shutters and other protection like plywood, from the windows and doors of their homes. While shutters protect lives and property during the immediate threat of significant storms, they can become a life safety hazard in the event of a fire or other emergency. Shutters can prevent residents from exiting and block necessary pathways for firefighters to come in and assist.
Boca Raton Fire Chief, Tom Wood, recently expressed concerns after hearing about a local rescue mission that was hampered because shutters were blocking ingress and egress. First responders were unable to rescue the person trapped inside.
“You run the risk of being trapped in your house if you leave your shutters on any longer than you must,” he explained. “This can delay and even hinder firefighters from getting into your home and getting you and your family out quickly and safely.”
According to the Florida Fire Prevention Code, shutters must be removed from a home 10 days after expiration of a hurricane warning. The property owner shall restore ventilation, light and egress required by the Florida Building Code and Florida Fire Prevention Code by removing all shutters and/or temporary wood structural panels from any existing building or structure.
Anne Marie Connolly
Public Relations Specialist