Manufactured homes provide an affordable housing choice that is extremely hard to beat. There are those who believe manufactured homes are more susceptible to fires and end up not considering them.
The truth is that the newest manufactured homes are constructed with fire prevention in mind. Indeed, some are more fire-resistant than conventional homes.
It is undoubtedly that every home wants to ensure their family is safe, especially from fire. All manufactured homes built after June 1976 adhere to Human and Urban Development (HUD) standards.
Basically, the HUD code regulates the design, construction, and installation of manufactured homes. Besides ensuring that such dwellings are fire-resistant, the code also assures their quality, affordability, durability, and all sorts of safety.
Although post-HUD code manufactured homes are regarded as fire-resistant than comparable conventional homes, there is no home that is completely fireproof.
The Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards only lower the susceptibility to fire hazards. For this reason, every homeowner should have an easily accessible fire extinguisher in their homes.
In addition to the stringent manufactured home construction standards, homeowners need to observe any other useful prevention and safety tip.
Fire extinguishers are an essential element of every manufactured home. This guide will introduce to you manufactured home fire extinguishers and other safety tips to keep your home and family safe. Keep reading.
The Six Classes of Fire
Keeping a fire extinguisher in your manufactured home is not only a smart idea but also a requirement by law in many states.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends every floor of the home to have an extinguisher. However, there is no single fire extinguisher that can tackle all fire. For this reason, buying an effective fire extinguisher can be a minefield.
Ideally, you should have the right types of extinguishers handy to put out common fires in a household setting.
To know what fire extinguishers to buy, you should know what materials are present in the area to be protected. With that said, here are the different types of fire classes.
1. Class A fires
Class A includes fires caused by flammable solid materials such as paper, trash, rubber, plastics, wood, and fabric.
2. Class B fires
These are fires caused by flammable liquids such as gasoline, petroleum oil, diesel, paint, and turpentine.
3. Class C Fires
These are fires involving combustible gases such as methane, butane, and hydrogen.
4. Class D fires
Class D fires involve combustible metals such as aluminum, titanium, potassium, sodium, lithium, and magnesium.
5. Class F fires
These are fires involving cooking oils and fats such as vegetable oil, olive oil, butter, lard, maize oil, and sunflower oil.
6. Electrical fires
Primarily, electrical fires are fires involving electrical equipment and electrical courses.
However, the fire class changes once the electrical item is removed.
Although class E fires do not technically exist, you can think of electrical fires as an informal class E (‘E’ for electrical).
The Seven Types of Fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers come in different types designed to tackle different fire classes.
Here are the types of manufactured home fire extinguishers and their uses.
1. Water extinguishers
Water fire extinguishers are the most common extinguishers and are suitable for putting out Class A fires.
They are used to extinguish fires caused by popular organic material like fabrics, coal, wood, paper, and cardboard. I
deally, they dispense water at high pressure to extinguish fires. Since water is a conductor, these fire extinguishers should not be used around electric equipment.
These extinguishers are ideal for use in a manufactured home because they are constructed and insulated using organic materials. They are the least expensive, meaning buying won’t leave a hole in your pocket.
Some come with additives to increase their effectiveness but at extra cost. Ordinary water fire extinguishers are the easiest to maintain.
They extinguish flames by soaking the fire and burning material with water.
The only drawback is that they cannot be used for Class B, D, F, and fires involving electrical appliances.
Water fire extinguishers are solid red, and the label is usually printed on the bright red surface.
2. Water mist extinguishers
Water mist fire extinguishers are a recently developed type of extinguishers.
They are smaller in size but ultra-powerful. Unlike standard water extinguishers, water mist fire extinguishers work by taking away the heat element triangle.
They come equipped with nozzles that release extremely small, microscopic, and demineralized water particles. The ultra-fine mist suffocates the fire while keeping the person using the extinguisher safe by reducing the heat effect.
The fire extinguisher is safe and effective for Class A, B, C, and F fires, making it an ideal option. They are an excellent alternative to clean agent extinguishers, especially when contamination is a concern.
Dry water mist extinguishers are identifiable by a label printed within a white rectangle.
3. Water spray extinguishers
Like ordinary water fire extinguishers, these extinguishers are suitable for putting off fires involving organic solid materials.
Water spray fire extinguishers should never be used in a fire involving electrical appliances or burning fat.
These extinguishers are fitted with a jet nozzle that releases a fine spray thanks to higher pressure.
You point the jet at the base of the flames and move it steadily across the fire until it extinguishes. Surfactants can be added, which help the water penetrate deeper into burning material.
4. Foam fire extinguishers
This is another common type of fire extinguishers. Foam fire extinguishers are more versatile than water jet extinguishers.
They are suited to put out B fires, but they are effective in Class A fires because they are water-based.
Foam fire extinguishers are identifiable by the label printed within a cream rectangle.
The container has a foaming agent with superior extinguishing capabilities and a blanketing effect.
They extinguish fires by sealing the liquid surface; therefore, creating a barrier between the elements.
Ideally, the foam prevents the flammable vapor from reaching the air, which starves the fire fuel. However, they are not effective if the fire is on free-flowing liquid.
With no other option, foam fire extinguishers can be used on some electrical fires when fired from one meter away. The drawback of this is that it will leave a residue that needs to be cleaned.
5. Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers
Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers contain pressurized carbon dioxide and are suitable for fires involving flammable liquids and electrical equipment.
Unlike foam extinguishers, this type does not leave any residue. For this reason, it is practical to have carbon dioxide extinguishers in manufactured home kitchens.
These extinguishers suffocate the fire without damaging electrical equipment or causing the system to short circuit. They usually work by displacing the oxygen needed by the fire to burn.
Although they are very effective, carbon dioxide extinguishers get extremely cold during the deployment. Beware that they can cause fingers to freeze.
Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are identifiable with black labels.
6. Dry powder fire extinguishers
These fire extinguishers are also commonly known as ABC extinguishers because they are suitable for Class A, B, and C fires.
They make an excellent choice if you are looking for multi-purpose manufactured home fire extinguishers. Dry powder fire extinguishers can also be used to suffocate fires involving electrical equipment.
There are special powder extinguishers designed to put out Class D fires involving flammable metals like aluminum, lithium, and magnesium.
The drawback of dry powder extinguishers is that they do not soak into materials and have a less effective cooling effect. For this reason, fires suffocated using dry powder can reignite.
It is not recommended to use dry powder fire extinguishers in enclosed spaces.
The dry powder released by this type of extinguishers is hazardous and can be easily inhaled. It can also create a loss of visibility and damage to soft furnishings.
These fire extinguishers are not the best for use in manufactured homes.
Dry powder fire extinguishers are generally inexpensive and have a blue label.
7. Wet chemical fire extinguishers
Wet chemical extinguishers are designed for use in Class F fires involving cooking fats and oils.
They are also safe and effective for fires involving organic solid material such as wood, paper, cardboard, and fabrics.
They are developed for deep fat fryers in a commercial setting; therefore, you may not need to bring one into your manufactured home.
These extinguishers contain a pressurized solution of water and alkali salts that creates a mist when operated.
Wet chemical knocks out the flames, cools that burning oil, and seal the oil surface; therefore, preventing reignition.
Basically, they smother fires by creating a barrier between oxygen and fuel.
Wet chemical fire extinguishers are identifiable by ‘Wet Chemical’ printed on a yellow triangular label.
How To Use Fire Extinguishers
Ideally, fire extinguishers should be used by someone with basic fire-fighting techniques.
For this reason, you need to be trained on how to use fire extinguishers effectively. Before using a one, ensure you have raised the fire alarm and identified a safe evacuation route.
Prior to any fire incident, take time to read the manufacturer’s warning and operating instructions. Not all manufactured home fire extinguishers are the same; therefore, practice putting off an imagined fire.
Using a fire extinguisher is as easy as remembering PASS, an acronym that describes the basic steps of using an extinguisher.
1. Pull the pin
Principally, the pin prevents the handle from being pressed and inadvertently operating the extinguisher. Pulling the pin found at the top of the extinguisher will break the tamper seal.
While standing in a safe place, aim the nozzle or hose towards the base of the fire. Do not hold the horn of carbon dioxide fire extinguishers because they get extremely cold during deployment; therefore, damaging the skin.
Squeeze the extinguisher handles to discharge the extinguishing agent. Release the handles to stop discharging.
Sweep the nozzle from side to side while directing the extinguishing agent to the base of the fire. Do so until the fire extinguishes.
Keep in mind that improper usage of fire extinguishers can cause the fire to spread, endangering lives and causing significant property damage.
Manufactured home fires can be easily controlled if attended to correctly and promptly after ignition.
Don’t leave your family and property safety to chance; buy extinguisher and get trained on how to use them.
Four Factors To Consider When Buying A Fire Extinguisher
As a homeowner, the safety of your manufactured home is the primary concern. Manufactured home fires, and all home wildfires, for that matter, are not only unpredictable but also potentially lethal. Having a functional fire extinguisher is the only way to be safely prepared for any house fires.
So, which manufactured home fire extinguisher should you buy? Here are the factors to consider when choosing fire extinguishers.
1. The Type Of Fire It Is Designed To Fight
Different types of fire extinguishers are designed to suffocate different kinds of fires. When buying a fire extinguisher, you should start by examining your manufactured home thoroughly to know the most likely fire hazard.
You will need to buy a manufactured home fire extinguisher rated suitable for the fire risk you are likely to face.
Undoubtedly, many manufactured home fire starts in the kitchen.
Therefore, it is imperative to buy a fire extinguisher suitable for Class A, B, and C fires. Dry powder fire extinguishers are used in virtually all fires you might come across in your manufactured home.
When buying, make sure to buy a certified fire extinguisher that has been tested in the lab. You can also buy any other special manufactured home fire extinguisher to fight other potential fire risks.
2. The Size Of The Extinguisher
The size of an extinguisher ideally refers to the volume of the extinguishing agent inside the extinguisher.
You might opt for a larger size because it contains more flame retardant, can combat a considerably bigger fire, and provides a longer result.
When buying, you should strike a balance between size and ability to maneuver the extinguisher when a fire breaks out. For this reason, do not pick a manufactured home fire extinguisher that is too large for you to use.
The size you choose will determine where to store your extinguisher.
Small models can be stored under the sink, while larger extinguishers can be hanged on the wall.
Fire extinguishers should be placed high enough for children not to reach and low enough for easy access when a fire occurs.
3. The Date It Was Manufactured
Generally, you should buy a fire extinguisher that was manufactured or recharged recently.
You should buy a manufactured home fire extinguisher that was manufactured within the previous year.
The extinguisher’s pressure indicator should be clearly visible and show that it is full – only a full fire extinguisher can effectively fight the fire.
4. Rechargeable Or Disposable Extinguishers
When buying a fire extinguisher, it is good to look at cost-effectiveness. Keep in mind that some extinguishers like dry chemical extinguishers should be discarded annually.
Rechargeable extinguishers are cost-effective because the cost of refilling is much lesser than buying a disposable extinguisher.
To get the difference, rechargeable extinguishers usually have metallic valves while their disposable counterparts have plastic valves.
Note: The size of the manufactured home fire extinguisher doesn’t significantly impact its effectiveness. It only means there is more volume of extinguishing agent.
Five Factors To Consider When USING A Fire Extinguisher
1. The size of the fire
Ideally, don’t use a fire extinguisher when the fire has started to spread or when your safety can be compromised.
2. The location of fire
Before starting to use a fire extinguisher, make sure to identify a safe evacuation route, otherwise leave immediately. It is better not to risk a life.
3. What’s Burning
This will help you decide on what extinguisher to use. If your manufactured home fire extinguisher is not designed to fight that type of fire, call for an emergency.
4. The Condition Of Your Extinguisher
It is advisable to check the condition of your manufactured home fire extinguisher before using it.
The Three Best Home Fire Extinguishers
When buying an extinguisher, the tricky to get the best is to buy from a reputable brand.
The best and common brands include:
This is a chemical extinguisher designed to fight nearly all flames types.
Kidde Pro 210 is rated 2A-10B-C and is ready to handle conventional, liquid, and electrical fires.
It is rechargeable and comes with a wall mount and an accurate pressure gauge. It does its job the best.
Like the above model, Amerex B500 is an excellent choice for any homeowner.
It is refillable and comes with wall mount brackets.
The Amerex B500 fire extinguisher is designed to suffocate Class A, B, and C fires effectively.
This is an ideal option for homeowners with a tight budget.
First Alert Standard Home Fire Extinguisher is very affordable and is a multipurpose fire extinguisher.
Despite the low price, this home fire extinguisher is rated A-10B-C, which is ideal to fight all fires.
Buying a manufactured home fire extinguisher doesn’t have to be hard.
With the help of this guide, you will buy a suitable fire extinguisher and keep your family and property safe.
Even with a decent manufactured home fire extinguisher, make sure to call emergency once a fire breaks out in your home.