FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 8, 2007, 3:50 p.m.
Tips for returning safely home after the Chemcentral fire
When the perimeter is lifted around the site of the explosion and fire at the Chemcentral Corporation facility in the East Bottoms, the Kansas City, Mo., Fire and Health departments, along with the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Red Cross, want to ensure residents return safely to their homes.
Although there is no reason to expect major health risks or complications from this fire, residents may use these “common sense” tips that will be distributed by the Fire Department in fliers to homes and businesses in the area.
-- If an item has been exposed to smoke or debris, wash it before you use it. Warm water and soap should be adequate to clean most items. Plates, glasses and utensils deserve particular care. If food was exposed, you may wish to discard it. Remember to do the same for pet dishes and pet foods.
-- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly to control contamination. Use warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Wash your hands whenever you handle anything that may have been exposed.
-- Do not handle fire debris. Heat and wind carried bits of burned material some distance. Although most of the debris will likely be harmless, it’s better to be safe. Use gloves to remove any debris and dispose of it properly in sealed plastic bags.
-- People with respiratory diseases may experience irritation. If you suffer from asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease or respiratory sensitivity, you may wish to allow more time before returning to the immediate area. You also may want a friend or someone in your family check your home and do necessary cleaning and ventilation before you return. People with respiratory problems should stay indoors as much as possible for the next few days.
-- If you experience health issues that raise concern – including difficulty breathing, skin reactions and nausea – contact your health care provider. If symptoms are rapid or severe, seek assistance immediately.
If you have questions, use the following numbers:
-- Health information: Kansas City Health Department, (816) 513-6314
-- Fire safety questions: KCFD Fire Prevention Division, (816) 784-9100
-- Shelter and support: American Red Cross, (816) 931-8400. A shelter at East Gate Middle School, 4700 N.E. Parvin Road, will be open Thursday by 6 p.m. for displaced residents in need of food and shelter.
-- Power outages: KCP&L, (816) 471-5275 or (888) LIGHTKC.