Are Mobile Homes Safe for Long-Term Living?

Are Mobile Homes Safe for Long-Term Living?

Safety is a top priority for most traditional homeowners. This is at play when deciding to build or to buy used, who to hire for repairs or building additions, and whether or not to go with a local repairman or a large company when our homes need something done. Our homes are where our families sleep and where we keep most everything we own.

Since 1976 when manufactured homes were referred to as “mobile homes”, the builders of such housing have been required to follow strictly enforced federal building codes, making these most affordable types of houses very safe for long-term living.

Manufactured Housing Safety

Because of preconceived opinions of mobile homes from the early 70s and the way many in the U.S. have been allowed to become run-down, the idea is conveyed that they are not a reliable and safe means of long-term affordable housing. However, manufactured homes are built in off-site locations which are climate-controlled and they’re sheltered from the elements. A traditional house is site-built, which may be exposed to weather conditions during construction that could cause water damage, mold, and more

Manufactured homes are built in sections, built to federal standards and created to meet safety regulations that are consistent and have incredibly high standards. These standards include fire safety ratings that are as fire-resistant as a traditional, house built on site. According to a study by the National Fire Protection Association, manufactured homes have up to 44 percent fewer fires than site-built homes do.

Wind safety standards have continually been upgraded since standards and HUD codes were introduced in 76. When hurricanes struck Florida in 2004, not one manufactured home built and installed after 1994 was destroyed by winds.

Manufactured Housing Neighborhood from Sky

HUD Codes for Increased Manufactured Home Safety

The HUD Code (officially called the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards) a major player in the long-term safety of manufactured housing. ‘Mobile home’ refers to pre-HUD Code mobile houses built before 1976.

Before the introduction of HUD Code, mobile home manufacturers did not have any specific set of standards or building codes. HUD established strict standards for fire resistance, energy efficiency, size of home, and the chassis.foundation on which the houses could be built.

HUD Code is still the only federally administered building code. For the long-term safety of your family, this means that manufactured houses constructed after 1976 can be sure of the quality of their build as they have to meet the HUD Code.

HUD standards include regulations that divide the country into wind zones that are based on expected maximum wind intensity. Any manufactured house sold in the U.S. has to be rated for the wind zone where it will be located or it will not be legal to install.

Increasing Long-Term Safety in Your Manufactured Home
Manufactured homes are built to high safety standards, but like any used home, homeowners can make their homes even safer with the following simple steps:

  • Get a manufactured home inspection by a licensed inspector before buying
  • Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in each room and test them on a regular schedule.
  • Install fire extinguishers.
  • Attach your home to a permanent foundation.
  • At NOAH, we care about safety and the security of our builders.

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