Fires in manufactured homes claim the lives of 400 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.
During a typical year in the U.S., manufactured homes account for 21,000 fires, hundreds of deaths and $180 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.
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.
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.
- 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. Have two ways out.
- Do not use portable space heaters in manufactured homes.
- 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 - [ www.usfa.fema.gov ]
Office of Fire Management Programs
16825 South Seton Avenue
Emmitsburg, MD 21727