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U.S. FIRE ADMINISTRATION URGES RESIDENTS AFFECTED BY HURRICANE SANDY TO STAY SAFE AS COLD WEATHER APPROACHES
WASHINGTON-The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) is urging residents to be safe as cold weather blankets the United States, including areas recently impacted by Hurricane Sandy. According to the NOAA National Weather Service, a coastal storm is expected to impact the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning after midnight Tuesday night and continue through Thursday night, with clearing expected by Friday. Impacts to the effected regions include; strong gusty northerly winds of 20-30 mph with gusts of 40-45 mph, rain of 1 to 2.5 inches along the coast, with lesser amounts inland possible, light wintry precipitation is possible inland, and coastal flooding/beach erosion along the New York/New Jersey coast. USFA urges everyone to monitor NOAA weather radio and local news reports for the latest storm conditions and take the necessary precautions to keep safe.
"As the cold weather approaches and residents are taking measures to stay warm, remember to take safety precautions," said U.S. Fire Administrator Ernie Mitchell.
Cooking and home heating are the leading causes of residential building fires during periods of cold weather. The risk of fires also increases with the use of supplemental heating, such as space heaters. Carbon monoxide (CO) is also a serious threat in cold weather. Any fuel-burning appliances in the home, including furnaces and fireplaces, are a potential CO source. Carbon monoxide is called the "invisible killer," because it is an odorless, colorless and poisonous gas. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are an important line of defense in the home, and they give consumers valuable escape time. About two-thirds of fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or in homes where consumers have removed the alarm's batteries or where the batteries are dead.
The USFA recommends that in addition to having working smoke and CO alarms, all residents should follow these safety tips to prevent fires and CO poisoning during the recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy:
Preventing CO poisoning
For further information regarding these safety tips or other post hurricane safety recommendations, visit www.fema.gov or www.ready.gov
As an entity of the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency, the mission of the United States Fire Administration is to provide national leadership to foster a solid foundation for our fire and emergency services stakeholders in prevention, preparedness, and response.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
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