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Monday marks the beginning of Home Fire Prevention Week and the Amercian Red Cross is reminding everyone that the biggest disaster threat to American families isn’t floods, or tornadoes, it’s fire.
The Red Cross says it responds to a disaster every eight minutes and nearly all of these are home fires. The Greater St. Louis Region responded to more than 1,300 fires last year. Fortunately, most home fires can be prevented.
Homeowners should check for items that can be hazardous such as candles and space heaters and keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as sources of heat or stoves.
Here are some other easy, but important steps that can be taken to keep your home safe.
* Never smoke in bed.
* Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to sleep.
* Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area. Because smoke rises, put the alarms on the ceiling or high on a wall.
* Test the smoke alarms regularly. Install new batteries every year.
* Make a plan. The Red Cross recommends that households develop a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year with everyone who lives in the home. People should know two ways to escape from every room and designate a safe place to meet outside the home.
Police in Florissant are asking for help in finding a 14 year old girl they regard as missing, but also say could have run away, so they need more information before they can issue an Amber Alert. Dominique Cherry-Jones has been missing since Wednesday. She was last seen with a female friend wearing all black and carrying a blue bag. Cherry never showed up for classes at McClure High School something her family says is completely out of character. Her mom, Sheri told Fox2 News, “I’m not sure if she’s being held against her will, but I just want her back home. She has always had big goals and big dreams and big ambitions and never did this before.” Relatives say they believe the teen is in danger.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - New research by the U.S. Geological Society suggests that while the New Madrid Seismic Zone hasn't produced a major earthquake in more than 200 years, the risk remains.
The Southeast Missourian reports that scientists used new technology to develop high-resolution imagery of the seismic zone centered around New Madrid, Mo. The imagery allows for more detailed mapping, showing weak rocks in the zone that are found at deeper depths in the Earth's mantle compared to surrounding areas.
Findings were published recently in the Earth and Planetary Science Letters journal.
University of Memphis earthquake expert Charles Langston says at least 200 earthquakes occur in the seismic zone every year, but most are very small. He believes there's a good chance of a damaging quake in the next 50 years.
A U.S. Congressman and the Mayor of St. Louis will both go before the Board of Aldermen this week in hopes of forwarding the long-stalled Northside Regeneration Project.
Aldermen are considering a bill that would tweak developer Paul McKee's nearly $400 million tax increment financing package to account for delays suffered while the city fought a lawsuit against it.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the fate of the project's TIF is unclear.
Congressman William Lacy Clay and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay will speak in favor the 1,500 acre project. But only one of the five aldermen whose wards make up the project area just north of downtown, 5th Ward Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard, clearly supports Northside.
And one, Alderman Freeman Bosley Senior, has threatened to block the bill if there isn't more community input in the project and better protections for current homeowners.