Apparatus & Equipment, Engine Company, Firefighting

Mobile Home Fires

Issue 4 and Volume 169.

(1) Photos by Eric Goodman. After World War II, many retired couples moved to the Miami, Florida, area to escape the harsh winters in the Northeast; hundreds settled in modest singlewide mobile homes in one of the area’s many trailer parks. These trailers were manufactured well before 1976 Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations were established to improve mobile home fire safety. One of the most important improvements required by HUD regulations was limits on the flame spread ratings of interior finishes. Mobile homes manufactured before 1976 are likely to have interior walls and ceilings of flimsy wood paneling or low-density fiberboard, which readily ignites and rapidly spreads fire to flashover conditions. Today, most of these old mobile homes are now occupied by large families, predominantly from Central America, who have immigrated to the Miami area in search of a better life in the United States. To…

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