Mobile Home News
News / Industry

Mobile homes are constructed to stay safe

NELSON STEINER , www.miami.com - Mon, Sep. 11, 2006

The Aug. 31 story Mobile homes have special safety issues, on fire safety in mobile homes, contained statistics that don't match figures in the most recent study by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The NFPA report states that fatal fires now happen in mobile homes at about the same rate as they do in other dwellings. The NFPA attributes the improving safety to the use of fire-retardant material and smoke detectors, required in homes built after 1976.

The article made the sweeping statement that mobile homes are unsafe in all categories of hurricanes and in some tropical storms. But since July 13, 1994, new mobile homes have had to meet strong federal construction standards. During the hurricanes of 2004-05, not one modern mobile home was structurally damaged, even during Hurricane Charley's Category 4 winds of 145 miles per hour. This was proven when inspectors at the state Bureau of Mobile Home Construction performed careful assessments of more than 30,000 mobile homes in the path of all the storms.

A report by the University of Florida School of Building Construction concludes that modern manufactured housing is comparable to and, in some cases, better than site-built structures, but that the negative portrayal of manufactured housing by the media has helped foster the public perception that factory-built homes are inferior.

Finally, the article said that manufactured-home communities have ''almost disappeared.'' But a recent count shows 75 manufactured-home communities in Miami-Dade County containing more than 12,000 homes. Across the state, more than a million people live in mobile homes, and new communities are being built for people who enjoy the companionship, affordability, security and safety.

NELSON STEINER, president, Florida Manufactured Housing Assoc., Tallahassee

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