Manufactured Homes: Safer than Site-Built
In 1974 the U.S. Congress passed the National Mobile Home Construction and Safety Standards Act (HUD CODE). Manufactured homes are the only form of single-family housing subject to federal legislation.
The HUD CODE requires manufactured homes to be in strict compliance with several health and safety standards that are more stringent than those set for IRC code homes (site-built).
Fire safety is one of the more important requirements.
A study issued by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in July 2011 shows that both the occurrence of fire and the injury rate is lower in manufactured housing. The reasons for this superior fire safety lay in the following high-standard requirements:
- The HUD standard requires a flame spread of 25 or less in water heater and furnace compartments.
- The HUD standard requires a flame spread of 50 or less on the wall behind the range.
- The HUD standard requires a flame spread of 75 or less on the ceilings.
- The HUD standard requires a flame spread of 25 or less to protect the bottoms and side of kitchen cabinets around the range.
- The HUD standard requires additional protections of cabinets above the range.
- The HUD standard requires trim larger than 6 inches to meet flame spread requirements.
- The HUD standard requires smoke detectors in the general living areas.
- The HUD standard requires 2 exterior doors and that all bedroom doors are located within 35 feet of an exterior door.
(Flame Spread is a scaled number indicating a given material’s tendency to burn and propagate flames.)
All manufactured homes are built according to the HUD CODE are also held to many other health and safety standards, including flame retardant furnace and water heater compartments, as well as egress windows in bedrooms.
A manufactured home is not only equal to or better built than a site built home, it is also more affordable and has more built-in safety and health requirements.