Safe Living in your Manufactured Home
The most important feature of any home is something you might not see when you walk through the door, but it could save your life. It is safety; and it comes in all shapes and sizes:
Carefully maintained heating and electrical systems
Knowing what to do in case of fire, flood, tornado, or other disaster.
The American Red Cross has developed safety checklists to help you make sure that you and your family live safely in your manufactured home.
- Be sure you have properly operating smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
- Insure your personal property. Shop around for a company that best meets your needs for renter's or homeowner's insurance.
- Plan, with the whole family, at least two escape routes from your manufactured home.
- Practice fire drills regularly, using a smoke detector as a signal to start the drill. Follow your escape plan!
- Keep matches and lighters away from small children. Children tend to be curious about fire and tend to hide when frightened. Fire drills are most important for children between the ages of 2 and 12.
- Be sure your heating and electrical systems are properly maintained and in good working order.
- Carefully follow the instructions on all appliances and heating units, taking special care not to overload your electrical system.
- Be especially careful that your holiday decorations are safely displayed.
- Store important documents, such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, and insurance papers, in a fire-proof box or in the refrigerator, or rent a safety deposit box at your local bank.
- Make an itemized list of your personal property, including furniture, clothing, appliances, and other valuables. Keep this list up to date and store it along with other important documents.
In Case of Fire:
- Always crawl close to the floor in smoke.
- Feel each door for heat before opening it.
- If your clothing catches on fire, stop, drop to the floor, and roll over and over again to put out the flames.
- Call the fire department from a neighbor's phone. Leave your manufactured home before calling for help.
- Contact your American Red Cross for assistance to meet your emergency needs--groceries, new clothing, a place to stay, or assistance replacing lost medications.
(One block equals two feet.)
Use the above chart to map the interior of your manufactured home, carefully noting two escape routes, along with the locations of your smoke detectors, along with the locations of your smoke detectors, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, gas turn off, water turn off, and electric turn off.
The floor plan above is a sample layout of the safety features recommended to include in your manufactured home. Use the symbols listed above to indicate important safety features on your home's interior plan.
- If your manufactured home is located in a flood hazard area, be prepared to go to a safe place on high ground when flood or flash flood warnings are issued for your area.
- Most standards residential policies do not cover flood loss. In flood-prone communities, the National Flood Insurance Program makes flood insurance available for manufactured homes on foundations. See your insurance broker for details.
- Be sure to keep a transistor radio or weather service radio--with working batteries.
- Pay close attention to weather reports. Know the difference between a watch (when conditions are ripe for a severe weather event) and a warning (when severe weather is occurring or is imminent).
- Plan where to go during severe weather -- for instance, a storm cellar, a community building, or a relative's or friend's basement.
- When a tornado warning has been issued, leave your manufactured home immediately. Go to your pre-planned safe place or lie down in a low area with your hands covering the back of your head and neck.
- Near the main exit door, keep a family safety kit containing a change of clothes for each family member, a blanket, a first aid kit, and a flashlight.
- Be sure your manufactured home is installed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and all applicable state and county regulations.