Keeping Your Mobile Home Fire Safe
One of the biggest threats to homes, especially mobile homes, is the risk of fires.
All homes are vulnerable to fire damage, but mobile homes in particular can be more at risk and dangerous in a fire because of their size and the materials they are most commonly made out of.
Mobile home fires can occur at any time of year due to a number of reasons, so it’s important to take steps to protect your mobile home from fire.
Follow the tips below to keep you, your loved ones, and your beloved mobile home safe from fire.
Install Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors provide an early warning if there is smoke detected in certain rooms of your home.
For the best results, install a smoke detector in or near every room, except for the kitchen where smoke from cooking is likely to incidentally set off a smoke alarm.
Having a fire alarm in every room provides early warning in the unfortunate event that a fire breaks out inside your mobile home. It can also help pinpoint the origin of the fire as soon as it flares up, so you can potentially put it out with a fire extinguisher before it gets out of hand.
To ensure your smoke detectors are in good working order at all times, test them every month, replace their batteries every six months, and install new smoke detectors every 10 years.
It’s also a good idea to vacuum dust off your smoke detectors every month or so, as this debris can clog them up and potentially inhibit smoke detection.
Pro tip: Buy smoke detectors with carbon monoxide detectors, especially if you have a wood stove or fireplace you use in the winter or any gas appliances.
Carbon monoxide is a silent killer that can build up if any type of combustion is not properly ventilated — such as in an oil or natural gas furnace — carbon monoxide detectors help prevent tragedies.
Put Electrical Safety First
Electrical fires are some of the most dangerous and least anticipated fire starters in homes, so don’t overlook electrical safety in your mobile home.
For starters, having electrical outlet covers on your mobile home’s outlets is a must. If your outlets’ wires are exposed, they are much more likely to cause a fire — not to mention shock you!
At the first sign of any electrical problems in your home, hire a licensed electrician to come inspect the source of the problem. They will be able to identify any safety hazards and remedy them by rewiring outlets and switches or making other fixes.
Never try to repair electrical problems in your mobile home yourself — poorly done DIY jobs by homeowners cause more electrical fires than anything else!
For example, if you attempt to rewire an outlet or light switch yourself and do it improperly, it can easily throw sparks and cause a fire to start.
Even when doing something as simple as changing light bulbs, it’s important to make sure the light’s power source is off at the breaker to guarantee that no sparks fly.
Other tips to prevent mobile home electrical fires:
- Never run extension cords under rugs (they can get damaged and frayed)
- Use surge protectors to protect against voltage spikes
- Keep flammable materials away from electrical outlets and light bulbs
- Have at least one all-purpose fire extinguisher easily accessible and ready to use (and make sure you know how to use it!)
Maintain Heating and Ventilation Systems
Any type of system or appliance where heat is involved is a potential fire starter, especially when it starts to get cold out and you use them more.
The first step you need to take to reduce the risks of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning when it comes to these types of systems and appliances is to make sure their vents, including those for wood stoves, central HVAC systems, and dryers, are clear of any debris.
This means vacuuming or cleaning them out by hand, as well as changing any filters regularly. You should also avoid storing anything flammable near vents and appliances that heat up.
Additionally, you should have a licensed professional inspect your heating and ventilation systems annually to ensure they are problem free and functioning as they should. Not only will this help prevent a mobile home fire, but it can save you money on your utility bills!
A good time to have your systems and appliances inspected and maintained is in the fall, before you start relying on things like heaters and wood stoves to stay warm in the winter. Preparing your home against fire risks ahead of time will help you stay safe during the winter months.
Pro tip: If you use any portable space heaters inside your mobile home during the winter, make sure they are newer models. Update old space heaters to ones with tip-over protection and automatic shut off safety features.
Lastly, never use an extension cord for a space heater and keep anything flammable at least three feet away from them.
Although you can never completely prevent the risk of a fire, following the best practices discussed above will greatly reduce the chances of a fire affecting you and your mobile home.
But before we say goodbye, here are a few final tips to keep your mobile home fire safe:
- Keep your mobile home’s exterior, including the roof, free of debris and brush
- Don’t put fire pits or barbecues near the side of your home
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking something
- Don’t store wood or other combustibles under or on the side of your home
- If you smoke, smoke outside and dispose of butts properly in a fire-safe receptacle
- Deal with pest problems right away, as small animals can chew through wires
Safeguard from fires and and keep your home looking and functioning its best with Star Mobile’s full range of mobile home supplies. Contact our professional team of mobile home supply experts today for help choosing the perfect products!