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13 Ways to Protect Your Mobile Home from Fire

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Mobile home fires can strike at any time of the year with devastating results. More than 2,500 people die and more than 12,500 are injured each year in home fires in the United States. With its special design, your manufactured home requires specific fire precautions. As a mobile home owner you can plan for the worst by holding fire drills, learning escape routes and buying insurance, but to prevent the possibility of needing them, some steps can be taken. To keep you and your family as safe as possible, here are 13 ways to protect your mobile home from fire.

1. Install smoke detectors.
Place smoke detectors in or near every room except the kitchen. Make sure to change the batteries on the detectors twice a year and test and vacuum the dust from the inside of the alarm once a month.

2. Mount fire extinguishers.
Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher handy under the kitchen sink or near an exit and learn how to use it.

3. Protect electronics.
Use a surge protector as a safer alternative to potentially dangerous ganged plugs. Dust electronics regularly and remove lint from dryer, furnace and air-intake vents.

4. Check wires and cords.
Examine electric cords and light switches to check for faulty wiring. Never run a temporary extension cord under a rug.

5. Handle cigarettes with care.
Smoke outside of your home and extinguish cigarettes in a metal canister filled with water.

6. Update portable heaters.
Replace older space heaters with electric radiant heaters equipped with anti-tip and automatic shut off safety features. Keep combustibles at least 36 inches from any portable heater. Never use an extension cord for a portable heater.

7. Secure flammables.
Store flammable materials such as lighters, gasoline and cleaning products in safe places away from children and the elements.

8. Cook and clean sensibly.
Remove excess oil from cooking surfaces and tools and keep flammables away from them. Never leave cooking unattended.

9. Maintain heating system.
Have an expert check your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system annually. Avoid storing items near the HVAC system or water heater. Change filters regularly.

10. Clean home’s exterior.
Make sure the area around the skirt of your home is tidy and free of brush and debris. Keep the roof clear of trash and leaves.

11. Observe local regulations.
Avoid using fireworks and burning your trash during regional burn bans. If allowed, burn trash away from your home and keep a water hose or fire extinguisher handy.

12. Entertain with care.
If they are allowed in your community, place grills and fire pits away from the home.

13. Avoid using candles.
Use electric scent warmers to continuously freshen a home.

Sources
Federal Emergency Management Agency
www.ready.gov/fires
www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fa-130.pdf
National Fire Protection Association

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Guest Tuesday, 21 November 2017