Unique hazards increase danger for people who live in mobile homes
Take time to review your home inside and out to ensure you know what to do in the event of an emergency. If there are areas of concern, correct them as soon as possible.
General Home Safety:
- Stairways are often built entirely of wood. If the stairwell or walkway is on fire, you may not be able to exit through the front door. Ensure you have more than one accessible way for you to out of your home, either windows or doors.
- Working smoke alarms save lives! Check your smoke alarm regularly to ensure it is working properly. Replace the batteries as needed and replace the smoke alarm at least every 10 years. Contact your local Fire Department if you need assistance with checking your smoke alarms.
- Never leave smoking materials burning. Never smoke in bed. Dispose of smoking materials properly to ensure they do not pose a fire danger later.
- Have a fire escape plan. Practice it. See the home safety plan section of the Bend Fire Departments web page for more information on how to develop and practice a plan for your home. Know at least two ways to get out of your mobile home. Pick a family meeting place outside the mobile home. Don’t use elevators (they may take you right into the fire).
- If you can’t get out, use a mobile phone to stay in touch with 9-1-1 dispatchers. Shine a flashlight or wave a sheet out the window to alert firefighters that you’re trapped.
- Ensure all electrical devices are property plugged in. Reduce the use of extension cords to lessen the changes of an electrical failure and possible fire. They can easily overheat. Extension cords are for temporary use only. They are not to be used as a substitute for permanent wiring.
- Get acquainted with the elderly folks in your building or community. They may need assistance in an emergency. They may have extra difficulty getting out. You may be able to help them, or you can direct firefighters to the elderly person’s mobile home.
- Make sure your unit is clearly identified from the outside with your unit letter or number. If there isn’t, contact management, it's required by the Fire Code.
- Keep a copy of your mobile home number, near the phone. The information will then be handy for babysitters, and it will be there if you panic.
- Congested parking can mean blocked fire hydrants and/or blocked fire lanes. (A ladder truck can be 8 to 9-feet wide and 50-feet long. A blocked fire lane can slow down response time.) Ensure you are parking in designated parking areas and report violators to a park manager.
- Don’t park in front of fire hydrants and don’t park in fire lanes.
- Respecting the fire restrictions may literally save your life. When friends visit, be sure to remind them to park only in appropriate parking areas.
- Complex owners and managers need to be sure gated driveways are accessible to firefighters.
- Mobile home parks are typically very densely populated with homes only feet apart from one another. A fire in one can quickly spread to the neighbors. Ensuring safety in your home can also help protect your neighbor as well.
- Finally, swimming pools pose a separate hazard for people who live in mobile home communities. Pools must be fenced, and the gates must close and latch on their own. If children use the pool, an adult must always be inside the gate, in the pool area, constantly watching the children.
(Information provided in part courtesy of the City of Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department© 2013)