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Tornadoes Hurricanes and Fire?

Many people like to joke that manufactured homes seem to "attract" tornadoes. While the effects of a tornado can be devastating, there is no meteorological or scientific basis to thinking that manufactured homes attract tornadoes. In fact, the explanation for the abundance of reports of damage to manufactured homes from tornadoes is quite simple: manufactured housing is most abundant in rural and suburban areas where meteorological conditions favor the creation of tornadoes. It is estimated that approximately 40 percent of all tornadoes have winds in excess of 112 miles-per-hour and can exceed 200 miles-per-hour in extreme cases. Current building codes and practices, for either manufactured or site-built homes, are not designed to withstand severe tornadoes. A direct hit from a tornado will bring about severe damage or destruction of any home in its path - site-built or manufactured.

When it comes to hurricanes, valuable lessons were learned from the devastation of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. With winds in excess of 140 miles-per-hour, thousands of site-built and manufactured homes suffered extensive damage. Within weeks of the storm, the manufactured housing industry endorsed appropriate improvements of the wind resistance of manufactured homes, and, in July 1994, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued revisions to the wind safety provision of the HUD Code. Now, in areas prone to hurricane-force winds (known as Wind Zones II and III according to HUD's Basic Wind Zone Map), the standards for manufactured homes are equivalent to the current regional and national building codes for site-built homes in these wind zones.

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

Manufactured homes are no more prone to fire than homes built on-site. As a matter of fact, a national fire safety study by the Foremost Insurance Company showed that site-built homes are more than twice more likely to experience a fire than manufactured homes. The study showed that the number of home fires is 17 per 1,000 for site-built homes, while only eight per 1,000 for manufactured homes. 

What is responsible for the improved safety of manufactured homes? Strict construction standards. Foremost Insurance Company's marketing research department took an in-depth look into the fire frequencies of manufactured homes built before the advent of the HUD Code construction and safety standards, as well as homes built after the standards went into effect in 1976. Foremost's researchers found that post-HUD manufactured homes experience less fire incidences and have lower fire losses than pre-HUD manufactured homes.

Some fire resistance features of the HUD Code include strict standards for flame spread and smoke generation in materials, egress windows in all bedrooms, smoke detectors, and at least two exterior doors, which must be remote from each other and reachable without passage through other doors that are lockable. Site-built homes are required to have only one exterior door, and no "reachability" requirement.

Another report entitled, "Fire Experience in Manufactured Homes," by Dr. John R. Hall, Jr., which appeared in the May/June 1992 National Fire Protection Association Journal, concluded that manufactured homes built to HUD standards present a much lower risk of death and a significantly reduced risk of injury in fires than units that were not built to HUD Code requirements. The study showed that in fires occurring between 1980 and 1989, the fire death toll per 100 fires in post-HUD homes is two-thirds to three-fourths lower than pre-HUD homes. The fire injury rate is approximately one-third lower than pre-HUD homes for the same period of time.

Historically, a key factor in the severity of fires in manufactured homes is that there are a significantly higher percentage of manufactured homes in rural areas than in urban areas, while the percentage of site-built homes is much higher in urban/suburban areas. A fire in a home located in a rural area has a greater chance of becoming a "total fire" because of the increased amount of time needed for fire equipment to reach the home, since it may be outside a fire protected zone. Studies indicate that almost all fires in manufactured homes are related to human carelessness, disproving the assumption that the structure is at fault. The second leading cause of structural fires in manufactured homes involves mechanical failures, which occur in site-built homes as well. The simple reality is that the manufactured housing industry has been successful in its efforts to produce a safe and fire-resistant home.

 

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Model Name/Number:

 

PINEHURST 32 X 76 38PNH32764BH04

 

Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 2

 

Width: 32   Length: 76 Square Footage: 2331

 

Features:

 

Optional Garden/Corner Tub

Optional Kitchen Island

Quality GE Appliances

Spacious Master Suite

Moen (CFG) Faucets

Separate Eat-in Kitchen

Optional Fireplace

Custom Built Cabinets

His & Her Vanities

Scratch Resistant Countertops

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