Fire prevention in FEMA trailers

September 22, 2006

Reported by Britney Glaser

Earlier this week, the morning temperatures were much more similar to Fall, and even though they are feeling warmer again, it will not be long until we are experiencing cooler weather on a daily basis.  The first day of Fall is tomorrow, and with the change of season, we want to make sure that the hundreds of Southwest Louisiana residents living in FEMA campers and trailers are aware of fire safety measures.

In each trailer, there are numerous "danger" and "warning" stickers around areas that are more prone to catch fire. It's important to use the vent above the stove anytime you are cooking. When cooking in the campers, the privacy curtain needs to be secured away from the stove. And it is highly recommended that there is no smoking in the campers or trailers.

TA Jones, the Fire Prevention Chief with the Lake Charles Fire Department says, "We find that one of the largest causes of fire inside of these small homes is that individuals smoke and they drop a cigarette into the sofa and a few hours later, you end up having a fire within there."  The fire department says that the leading cause of house fires is simple human error, like leaving a burner on or a pot on the stove unattended.

FEMA spokesperson, Manuel Broussard says, "People in FEMA trailers and campers have to be aware of their surroundings.  They need to understand propane safety, they need to understand how to live safely inside of these houses."

Officials also say that your nose is the best detector, so if you smell anything unusual, do not turn your heater or a burner on, and contact maintenance immediately.