RALEIGH, N.C. -- With more than 3,600 North Carolinians displaced from their homes by Hurricane Floyd now living temporarily in travel trailers, state and federal officials plan special fire safety briefings on Monday to raise their awareness of fire danger in manufactured homes.
"Fire deaths in manufactured homes occur at a greater rate than in conventional housing mainly as a result of cooking, heating and overtaxing electrical circuits," said Glenn C. Woodard, head of recovery operations for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "Many of these families have never lived in manufactured housing and need to know about this increased risk and what precautions to take."
Safety instruction will be given at the Caswell Center in Kinston, the County Home Road site in Greenville and at Fountain Industrial Park in Edgecombe County. Local fire officials and representatives of FEMA and the North Carolina Emergency Management Division (NCEMD) will distribute safety material and answer questions.
"Some residents are not used to cooking and heating with gas," said Eric Tolbert, NCEMD director, "Now, with the onset of cold weather, the risk of fire increases in every home, but it can be greater for those living in close quarters, particularly when there are children in the home."
Officials said instruction in operating fire extinguishers will be given and residents will be taught how to test their smoke detectors. Each trailer is equipped with both.
Briefings are scheduled to begin at the sites at 10:30 a.m.