“Residents must take responsibility to ensure their unit is safely and properly heated,” said Jim Stark, director of FEMA’s Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office. “These units provide heaters that, when properly used, warm the unit efficiently and securely.”
Using the stove or oven as a heating source might deplete oxygen from the unit and result in poisoning from carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that causes dizziness, headaches and possibly death. Occupants should make sure they have a working carbon monoxide and smoke detector and check that heater vents on the outside of the unit are not blocked or covered. Batteries must be supplied to both detectors and changed twice a year, typically at daylight savings time and standard time.
The U.S. Fire Administration, a sister agency of FEMA within the Department of Homeland Security, offers several fire prevention tips for residents:
* If it doesn’t seem safe, don’t do it;
* Shut off all appliances before leaving home;
* If your unit is heated by propane, know where the propane shutoff valve is located and how to shut it off;
* Keep flammable materials away from the stove top;
* Know where the fire extinguisher is in the unit and learn how to use it;
* Learn how to use the emergency window opening devices in the trailer;
* Do not store gasoline or other flammable liquids in or under the trailer;
* Do not store gasoline-powered vehicles or equipment in the trailer;
* Never smoke in bed.
FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.