From: FEMA Filed
The holiday season is an especially critical time for fire safety. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), heating and cooking are the leading causes of residential building fires in December. Heating fires occur more often in the winter months when the use of central heating systems, portable heaters, and fireplaces is most common. The numbers of cooking fires routinely start to increase around Thanksgiving and peak in December, with most cooking fires occurring Christmas Day.
Disaster recovery officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) encourage occupants of the more than 31,000 units in Mississippi to use extra caution as they deck the halls this holiday season. While FEMA provides every disaster housing occupant with instructions on living safely in FEMA housing, awareness and prevention will provide the best defense against fire.
“We want people to have a safe holiday season and take every precaution,” said Alec Watson, Chief of Staff for the Biloxi Transitional Recovery Office. “One of the best gifts you can give your family can be something simple such as making sure every smoke detector in the home has fresh batteries.”
Below are some tips for a safer holiday:
OTHER SAFETY TIPS
For other fire safety tips, visit the USFA Web site at www.usfa.dhs.gov and click on the ‘Fire Safety for Citizens’ tab at the top of the page, or www.fema.gov and click on ‘Plan Ahead’ and under ‘Prepare for Hazards’ click on ‘Fire.’ Families can also contact their local fire department.
Occupants in FEMA-provided housing units who need maintenance assistance should call 1-866-877-6075. FEMA maintenance is only available for FEMA housing units. Occupants may also call the FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.