CAMINO — If you live in a mobile or modular home your risk of a house fire is increased due to the types of materials used in its construction, according to Cal Fire Unit Chief Kelly Keenan of the Amador-El Dorado Unit.
“Your risk of dying in a mobile or manufactured home fire is 30 to 44 percent higher than someone who lives in a one or two family wood framed dwelling,” Keenan said. “So what can you do to prevent yourself from becoming a statistic? Please read on.”
What is the difference?
• Mobile homes or Manufactured homes are a single structure on a chassis which is towed to a site where they are placed on a foundation which may or may not be permanent. They may be located in “trailer parks” where the resident pays a monthly fee for, among other things, the hookups for water, electricity and sewage.
• Modular homes are prefabricated structures manufactured and towed in sections to a location and placed on a permanent foundation. These are located on parcels of land with permanent utilities that are connected to the modular homes.
Fast fire facts:
• Between 2005-2009 there were an average of 12,400 mobile/manufactured home fires per year.
• 234 people died, 453 people were injured and there was approximately $186 million dollars in direct property damage.
• Mobile and modular homes smaller size supports faster moving fires.
Mobile home fire safety tips:
• Smoke alarms! Make sure your smoke alarms are working (change batteries annually and clean them monthly). If the alarm is 10 years old or older, replace the entire unit.
• Consider purchasing smoke alarms that link together; if one goes off they all go off, alerting everyone that there is a problem.
• Heating fires are the number one cause of house fires. Keep your heating/cooling system well-maintained. If you use space heaters, keep a 3-foot area around the heater clear of flammables such as curtains, blankets and overstuffed furniture.
• Properly maintain the home’s electrical distribution and lighting systems. The second leading cause of fires originate from the electrical and lighting equipment.
• Never leave cooking food unattended. The number three cause of fires in mobile homes is cooking fires.
• Make an Exit Drill plan and practice it both during day and nighttime hours at least twice a year.
For more information visit nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF/Public%20Education/ManufacturedHomesSafetyTips.pdf or call at 530-644-2345.