Fire Safety in Manufactured Homes
Deaths from fires in homes are 30 to 50% higher in Manufactured Homes than in stick built homes. People die more often in MH fires than in other fires. In New Jersey we have had several recent tragic fires in our manufactured housing communities. Electrical distribution (related to the wiring and movement of eletricity in your home) is the leading cause of fires in Manufactured Housing. Old wiring in pre-HUD code homes and after market changes to add appliiances, over crowded and burdened eletrical setting are all causes of these types of fires. There are many things that could be done to improve these dismal figures. We want our homes to be safe and our communities to be safe as well.
Steps you can take today!
1) In Your Community – Make sure that your Manufactured Housing community has decent fire hydrants. If you do not have fire hydrants talk with your municipality to find out why not? Talk with your fire department and ask them if they have had training on the special problems that fire fighting has in Manufactured Housing. Ask your town to do a Fire Alarm and Fire Extinguisher program, to conduct voluntary safety checks in your homes, and to speak in your community.
2) Make sure that you have smoke alarms in your home and that they work!
3) Maintain your home heating system properly. 1/8 of Manufactured Housing fires are the result of supplemental heating systems – space heaters, wood stoves, etc. Please read about the proper installation and use of these devices.
4) Do not overcrowd outlights – read the handout on eletrical safety in Manufactured Housing. Remember that space heaters need their space!
5) Install skirting to prevent leaves and debris from collecting under your home. Keep leaves from piling up against your home.
6) Be very careful about candle use. Never leave a candle burning if you are not in the room.
7) Keep outdoor cooking away from your home.
8) Never store paints, gasoline, or other combustibles in your home.
9) If you have smokers in your home, ask them to smoke outside. Wherever people smoke, set out large, non-tip ashtrays on level surfaces and empty them frequently. Thoroughly douse butts with water before discarding.
10) Chose a HUD certified home!
Programs for MH Residents
How to apply for weatherization in NJ? Call the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Housing at 609-292-6140 for application information.
DCA Website for program description and application
MH titles are obtained through the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission