Are manufactured homes more susceptible to fire than site-built homes?

Modern manufactured homes are as safe as traditional site-built homes and pre-1976 mobile homes. The manufactured housing industry produces safe and fire-resistant homes that are in the market today. They are no more prone to fires than homes built on-site. In fact, studies prove it. 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 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. Fire resistance provisions of the HUD Code include strict standards for fire retardation and smoke generation in materials, large windows in all bedrooms, smoke alarms, and at least two exterior doors which must be separate from each other and reachable without having to pass through other doors that can be locked. Site-built homes are required to have only one exterior door and no “reachability” requirement.

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