Fire Marshal offers tornado response update, safety tips

Published 10:00 am Thursday, March 30, 2023

The State Fire Marshal Office teams continue to work in all storm-damaged areas in Mississippi to make sure fire service needs are met. These teams are also medically trained.

A structure in Rolling Fork caught fire and burned Sunday morning due to a generator sitting on a wooden porch, the SFMO said. Fire and carbon monoxide safety are especially important following a storm.

The Marshal Office cautions residents to use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas at least 20 feet away from all doors, windows and vent openings. A generator should never be operated inside a garage, even with the door open. Generators should be off and cooled down before refueling. A generator refueled while hot can catch fire.

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Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed in homes. Fumes can be harmful or fatal, and CO cannot be seen or smelled.

SFMO regulates factory-built homes. Many mobile homes were damaged and, in the coming months, mobile homes will be replaced or repaired. County fire coordinators send lists of homes that need to be assessed for damage to the SFMO Factory Built Home division. If damaged, the mobile homes are inspected. They could be found to be totally destroyed or repairs could be recommended.

The SFMO Liquefied Compressed (LC) Gas division encourages safety following the storms. Anyone who suspects their propane tank or gas lines may have been damaged should call 601-359-1064.

Propane appliances should be inspected for water or other damage, if safe to do so. If the appliances have electric components and have been exposed to water, they can create a fire hazard.

A qualified service technician should be scheduled to perform a complete inspection of propane systems if a resident suspects any propane appliance, equipment or vehicle has been under water or damaged, or if the gas supply has been turned off. This equipment should not be used until inspected. Only certified technicians should attempt repairs.