ISSUE BRIEF: FIRE SAFETY

Fire Safety

Modern manufactured homes are safer than traditional site-built homes and pre-1976 mobile homes. The manufactured housing industry produces the safest and most fire-resistant home available in the market today.

NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION (NFPA) STUDY- MANUFACTURED HOMES SAFER THAN SITE BUILT HOMES-FIRE SAFETY

      The 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 actually have 38-44 percent 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.

      Studies indicate that the vast majority of fires in manufactured homes are related to human carelessness, disproving the assumption that the structure is at fault. The second leading cause of fires in manufactured homes involves mechanical failures in the homes’ heating systems that can occur in all types of homes.

Manufactured homes are built to fire safety requirements that are not in the site built codes. For example, the HUD Code requires two means of egress, and the International Residential Code requires only one.

BACKGROUND

Since June 15, 1976, manufactured homes have been built to the HUD Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (HUD Code)—the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s pre-emptive (HUD) residential construction and safety standards (INCLUDES FIRE SAFETY CODE) for manufactured homes. This is a robust enforcement and compliance system that regulates the design, construction and installation of manufactured homes. ALL manufactured homes are inspected in the factory by federal inspectors for adherence to the pre-emptive more stringent fire and safety code as well as the overall national construction building codes.

Fire resistance features of the HUD Code include:

  • Strict standards for flame spread and smoke generation in materials, especially in close proximity to heating equipment and in the kitchen. The HUD Code requires more stringent flame spread requirements in ceilings than the site-built codes
  • Egress windows in all bedrooms
  • Smoke alarms
  • At least two exterior doors, which must be remote from each other and reachable without passage through other doors that are lockable (site-built homes are required to have only one exterior door, and no “reach ability” requirement).
© 2016, Manufactured Housing Institute, Inc. (MHI), all rights reserved. This is a MHI members-only resource. External reproduction and publication is prohibited without the written consent of MHI.

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