Fire Safety & Manufactured Homes

fire safety

Manufactured homes often provide an affordable housing option that’s impossible to beat as housing costs continue to rise in California, especially the San Francisco Bay Area.

As we are mid-way into the autumn season, high winds and unpredictable power outages administered by PG&E have many question if manufactured homes are more prone to fire than any traditional, on-site built homes.

Aside from taking precautions to prevent fires in your home, you will learn that modern manufactured homes were redesigned and constructed with fire prevention in mind.

According to the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA) and the national Manufactured Housing Institute, “The manufactured housing industry produces the safest and most fire-resistant home available in the market today. That’s a fact backed by the 2013 National Fire Protection Association study indicating manufactured homes have stricter fire safety codes and less fires than site-built homes.”

Results of a 2013 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report comparing the impacts of fires on manufactured and traditional housing showed:

  • The fire death rate in HUD Code homes, those built after 1976, was equivalent to other site-built housing, and that manufactured homes have 38-44% fewer fires than site-built homes.
  • Manufactured homes have essentially the same fire death rate as other single-family residential homes.
  • Manufactured homes have a lower rate of civilian fire injuries per 100,000 occupied housing units than other one or two-family homes and post-HUD standard manufactured homes are more likely than other homes to have fires confined to the room of origin.

Since 1976, manufactured homes have been required to follow certain construction and safety codes from HUD, including items that help prevent fires in prefabricated homes. Fire resistance features of the HUD Code include:

  • Strict standards for flame spread and smoke generation in materials, especially those materials close to heating equipment and in the kitchen
  • Egress windows in all bedrooms
  • Smoke detectors
  • A least two exterior doors, which must be remote from each other and reachable without passage through other doors that are lockable, compared to site-built homes are required to have only one exterior door, and no reach ability requirement

In addition to the HUD standards, other improvements are making newer homes and parks more fire safe than ever before. Joe DiSalvo, a firefighter and shift inspector for the Evans Fire Protection District, said newer parks tend to have streets with curbs, gutters and sidewalks, and the proximity of the trailers to each other has grown relative to older parks.

fire safety(1)

Home Fire Prevention and Safety Tips

Use these tips below to keep both your family and home safe in the event of a house fire.

  • Prepare a plan to help children and the elderly out of your home in case of a fire.
    • Practice your fire escape plan so that your family is aware of what to do in case of a house fire.
    • Find two ways to get out of each room in the event the primary exit way is blocked by fire or smoke.
  • Keep multiple first aid and/or survival kits around your home.
  • Discuss a designated area to meet outside your home in case of a fire.
    • Make sure your designated meeting spot is far enough away from the home such as the mailbox at the end of the driveway or going across the entire street to your neighbor’s front yard.
  • Install multiple smoke detectors throughout your home.
    • Test your smoke detectors monthly.
  • Make sure to blow out candles before going to sleep or leaving your home.
  • Unplug heaters while you sleep so they do not accidentally tip over or have something flammable fall on them while you sleep.
  • Have a fire extinguisher easily accessible in your home.
    • Good places for a fire extinguisher include your kitchen, near fireplaces and near any grills you may have on your porch or deck.
  • Have smoke-alarm activated nightlights throughout your home.
  • Don’t leave anything flammable near a fireplace or heater, such as a blanket or curtains.
    • If you have children or animals, make sure to block off access to your fireplace so that only adults can access it.
  • Keep sentimental items and important documents in a fireproof safe.
    • Make digital copies of important documents and photos.
  • always turn the stove/oven off when you walk away from it or out of the kitchen.

Sources:

Y, Kalley. “Fire Prevention and Safety for Manufactured Homes.” Modular-Manufactured-Mobile Homes For Sale, 24 Apr. 2019, http://www.claytonhomes.com/studio/manufactured-home-fire-prevention-and-safety/.

Manufactured Housing Institute. “Don’t Ignore the Real Facts about Manufactured Home Safety.” GlobeNewswire News Room, “GlobeNewswire”, 11 May 2017, http://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/05/11/982528/0/en/Don-t-Ignore-the-Real-Facts-about-Manufactured-Home-Safety.html.

Reid, Trevor. “Fire Can Be Risky, Deadly Drawback of Living in Mobile Homes.” KQED, 16 Sept. 2019, http://www.kqed.org/news/11774414/fire-can-be-risky-deadly-drawback-of-living-in-mobile-homes.

Nelms, Ben. “Manufactured Home Fire Safety: An Honest Discussion.” Manufactured Homes, 9 July 2019, http://www.manufacturedhomes.com/blog/manufactured-home-fire-safety/.

“Press Release: Fire Safety Facts: MHI: Manufactured Housing Institute.” MHI | Manufactured Housing Institute, http://www.manufacturedhousing.org/firesafetynews/.

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