Yikes. Cold weather is on the way. Are your ready?

Enjoy the 75-degree temperature outside right now in Biloxi, because the weatherman says we’ll see a 20- to 30-degree plunge in temperatures leading into the weekend, with overnight lows dipping into the 30s and 40s through the weekend. Winds may push the temperature to freezing levels in some cases.

This time of year usually means a spike in calls for the Biloxi Fire Department, when residents are using fireplaces, heaters and other heating devices that have been dormant for months. As a result, the department is reminding residents of steps they can take to avoid tragedy.

“Cold weather emergencies do happen this time of year,” Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney said.  “But precautious can be taken to reduce the risk.” According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating is the second leading cause of U.S. home fires with December, January and February being the peak months for heating fires.

“Have your fireplaces checked to make sure that they are working properly,” Boney says in a four-minute video published today on the city’s YouTube channel. “Also, do not use cooking appliances for heating, only for cooking.”

Those using a space heater should not use the device with an extension cord, as the cord may overheat, Boney said.  Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet.

Boney, in the video, gives some safety tips to maintain a fire-safe home as winter approaches.

“Never leave a space heater or any other heating device for that matter unattended,” Boney said. “Always unplug them when they are not in use.”
Video:  See the Weather Safety Video
See the Biloxi Fire Department winter fire safety tips page 
See the National Fire Protection Association Winter safety flyer



Police to patrol rivers, Bay after hunting issues

Much to the chagrin of duck hunters on the Biloxi and Tchoutacabouffa rivers, it’s illegal to discharge a firearm in the city limits. And it’s an annual ritual each year, at the outset of duck season: Residents along the rivers or Back Bay call the police department to cry foul over the fowl custom.  They said their mornings are disrupted by the blast of shotguns being used by duck hunters. Making the matter worse: Some well-meaning residents have placed birdseed outside for the wild game.

It’s an issue that predates the city’s growth to the north – aka “annexation” – when residents, namely duck hunters, found that what was allowed in rural county life may not be so welcome within the confines of a city. In fact, it’s illegal to discharge a firearm within city limits, and Police Chief John Miller says police cannot duck the issue.

In fact, Biloxi Police will be patrolling waterways in the northern parts of the city this weekend and beyond, reminding hunters and others that discharging a firearm in the city limits is prohibited.



News and notes: Learn with Santa, Woolmarket parade

Learn with Santa:  The annual Come Learn with Santa event, hosted by Biloxi Excel By 5, will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Lopez School, 140 St. John Ave.  The event is free and open to those age five and younger and their parents or guardians.  To view the flyer, click here

Christmas in Woolmarket: The inaugural Woolmarket Christmas Parade will roll through Woolmarket on Saturday beginning at 2:30 p.m. The procession will travel from Shorecrest Road south and end at the Woolmarket Elementary School on John Lee Road, where Santa Claus will appear.  To see the flyer, click here

Move to the Post Office:  The City of Biloxi Finance and Human Resources divisions are now located on  the third floor of the downtown post office on  Main Street.  To see images of the move, click here.