Michigan Regulates Mobile Home Construction
Fire safety regulations for mobile home construction which went into effect in Michigan on November 6, are a “step in the right direction… but not the entire answer,” according to Lansing Fire Marshal Gordon Adsit.
Adsit was a member of a panel, along with Donald Ulrey of the Fire Marshal Division, Michigan Department of State Police, and Larry Townsend, director of engineering, DMH Co., Alma, a mobile home manufacturer, who addressed a Michigan Fire Inspectors Conference at Michigan State University.
“Carelessness and clutter are the greatest causes of mobile home fire fatalities,” Adsit advised municipal inspectors meeting in MSU’s Kellogg Center for Continuing Education September 24-27.
Those most endangered are the young and the aged. Newly married couples and senior citizens who account for most mobile home sales are at a disadvantage—the former because of a lack of housekeeping experience and the latter because of an attempt to crowd “eight rooms of furnishings” into an already furnished smaller space, authorities warned.
Ulrey pointed out that buyers of new mobile homes, about 50 percent of all new home starts, will have the protection of the new construction regulations. But he and the other panel members expressed concern over occupants of the state’s 70,000 older models which were not subject to the safer construction standards.
What is needed, the fire marshals said, is a program of education which will help the occupants of older mobile homes to understand the safety hazards to which they are exposed or which they cause.