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Living Safely in a Manufactured Home

 

Fires in manufactured homes claim the lives of 500 Americans each year and injure 1,000 more. Many of these fires are caused by heating and electrical system malfunctions and improper storage of combustibles.

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) would like consumers to know that there are simple steps you can take to prevent the loss of life and property in home fires.

The Problem

During a typical year, manufactured homes account for 22,000 fires, hundreds of deaths and $200 million in property losses. An estimated 11 million Americans live in manufactured homes, where fire deaths occur at twice the rate of fire deaths in other types of homes.

The Facts

Young children account for more than one-fifth of all fire deaths in manufactured homes. A recent study of rural fires showed that smoke alarms were less likely to be present or operating in manufactured homes.

The Cause

Electrical system malfunctions and heating fires are the leading causes of fire in manufactured homes. Together, they account for one-third of manufactured housing fires. Electrical distribution fires occur nearly twice as often in manufactured homes as in one- and two-family dwellings.

 

Safety Precautions

  • Have a minimum of two smoke alarms installed in your home regardless of sleeping space arrangements.
  • Install smoke alarms in accordance with smoke alarm manufacturer guidelines. Test your smoke alarms once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
  • Maintain your home heating system by having it serviced at least once a year by a professional.
  • Do not store combustibles or flammables near heat sources.
  • Never overload outlets, extension cords or electrical circuits. If the circuit breaker trips or fuses blow, immediately call a licensed electrician to check your system.
  • Have an escape plan and practice escape routes with your family.
  • Space heaters need their space. Do not place portable space heaters close to drapes, clothing or other combustible materials.
  • Install skirting material to keep leaves and other debris and combustible items from blowing under your manufactured home.
  • When considering a new home, ask if residential sprinklers are available as an option.
  • If there is a fire - get out immediately, go to a neighbor's and notify the fire department using the 911 system or the proper local emergency number in your area.

 

For More Information Contact:
The United States Fire Administration
Office of Fire Management Programs
16825 South Seton Avenue
Emmitsburg, MD 21727

 

 

Planning Emergency Escape from Manufactured Homes

Home Fires

Every year nearly 4,000 Americans die in home fires and more than 25,000 are injured. Children and the elderly are especially at risk in home fires because they are less able to escape when fire strikes. You can improve the chances that your family will survive a home fire by making sure that they can escape quickly if necessary.

Smoke Alarms are Life Savers

The primary fire safety strategy for any home is to warn the occupants early. The best way to get the earliest warning of danger is by installing enough smoke alarms. Homes should have a smoke alarm near the bedrooms, but not so close to the kitchen that you have problems with alarms from cooking. It's a good idea to have a smoke alarm in each bedroom, especially if you sleep with the door closed.

Planning Your Escape

The other part of the fire safety plan is for everyone to get out quickly. When you are awakened in the middle of the night to a fire, your thinking may be confused, so it is important that you practice your escape plan ahead of time. That way, your whole family will know what to do. Manufactured homes have more ways to escape than most other homes. There are always two doors, and every bedroom has an emergency escape window. Make sure that everyone knows how to open the emergency windows so no time is wasted when fire strikes. These windows are labeled with operating instructions. Everyone in the family, as well as frequent visitors and babysitters, should practice the escape plan, including opening the escape windows.

Can You Beat the Clock?

Most people do not realize how quickly fires can grow. A home fire can become a killer in as little as 3 minutes. Can your family get out ths fast? Consider that it may take one minute for the smoke alarm to sound and for you to recognize the danger. If you have young children or you are elderly and move more slowly, you may need another minute to get ready. This leaves only 1 minute for you all to get to an exit, open it, and get out. By practicing your escape, you can make every second count.

Steps to a Safe Escape

1. Have at least two working smoke alarms, test them monthly.
2. Plan two ways out of every room.
3. Practice your escape plan twice yearly.
4. Practice crawling low under smoke.
5. Have a pre-arranged meeting place outside your home.
6. Call the fire department from a neighbor's home.
7. Once outside, stay out.

 

 Warren County Fire & Rescue Services

200 Skyline Vista Drive, Suite 200

Front Royal, VA  22630

540-636-3830

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