Leadership

MOBILE HOME FIRES, PART 1: PROBLEMS AND PREFIRE PLANNING

Issue 4 and Volume 157.

BY BILL GUSTIN A mobile home burning in the middle of a trailer park can be a significant challenge in terms of accessibility, exposure protection, and life safety concerns for occupants and firefighters. The hazards and problems of mobile home fires can be placed in two broad categories: (1) construction, design, and occupancy; and (2) fire operations in trailer parks. (1) Mobile homes are fast, intense burners. Low ceilings, small floor areas, and combustible interior finishes all contribute to sudden and rapid flashover. (Photo by Bob Pallestrant; others by Lazaro Acosta.) Click here to enlarge image null CONSTRUCTION, DESIGN, AND OCCUPANCY Mobile homes and lightweight prefabricated dwellings are among the fastest growing segments in the housing industry. Unfortunately, national fire statistics indicate that fire fatalities in mobile homes are disproportionately high when compared with those in conventionally constructed dwellings. The occupancies of mobile homes contribute to this higher-than-average death rate.…

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