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Taking down shutters important for your safety

Posted at 6:13 PM, Sep 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-26 05:05:47-04

Firefighters are reminding residents that even though hurricane season is not over, their shutters need to be taken down.

Resident Talbot Simons says it's no trouble to put up and take down his hurricane shutters.

 But now that they're up, Simons sees no good reason to take them back down.

"I can go through the rest of the hurricane season without putting them up and down because there are always storms out there," Simons said. 

Firefighters say anyone who leaves up hurricane shutters is playing a dangerous game, especially if there's a fire.

"If people get into a position where there is a fire in their house an emergency situation and they are not able to get out because of the shutters, it's going to take us a little while to get through those," said West Palm Beach Fire Rescue Asst. Chief Brent Bloomfield.

Shutters make it more challenging for his crews to fight a fire. Precious seconds that could be the difference between life and death for someone trapped inside.

"We have a special saw to cut through those things but it takes several minutes to get through them. Fires double in size every minute. So for every minute that you are in the house, that fire gets bigger and bigger," said Bloomfield.

Simons said he will take at least some of the shutters down by this weekend.

"We will probably take a chunk of the shutters off the windows, at least the easy ones, over the next couple of days. It is looking quiet out there, but the harder ones we will probably leave up until the end of hurricane season to be honest with you," said Simons.