Jackson County Fire Officials Concerned About FEMA Trailers - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/21/05

Jackson County Fire Officials Concerned About FEMA Trailers

It's taken some time for Angela Givens to get used to her temporary home mostly because it's so small.

"Not enough of it," Givens says. "Usually my husband would get out in the middle of the floor in the living room and wrestle with the kids. He can't do that here."

What most people like Givens haven't thought about though is that the size isn't just uncomfortable. It can also be deadly.

"In these trailers what you have is everything is shrunk down. Now if you have a fire in the kitchen, it's almost upon you before you have time to react," Gautier Fire Marshall Ray Frair.

Frair says this means there's a greater possibility of someone not making it out alive. So it's important, he says, to prevent fires from ever beginning.

"You shouldn't smoke at all in these trailers,"Frair says. "Any time you're smoking, there's the possibility of a fire occurring from a dropped cigarette or just a dropped ash. When you are cooking, never leave the stove unattended. Especially in the holidays, you've got so many things going on at once."

But if a fire does start, Frair says it's just as important to have a plan including escape routes.

"You want to make sure that you fully understand how to open that window under emergency conditions to get out." 

Frair says each FEMA trailers comes with a smoke detector.

"Each one of these trailers also has a carbon monoxide detector in them and they come with a fire extinguisher to help you."

But because of the size, Frair says, if a fire starts don't bother fighting it. The best thing you can do for your family is just get out.

By Jaimee Goad

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