Experts Say Manufactured Homes Not More Prone to Fire

A November 16 article in the Virginian-Pilot carried the headline Fast-moving fires pose special risk in mobile homes. At first sight, this headline would seem another instance where the media unfairly implies negative judgment on the quality and safety of factory-built housing. But the article then quotes fire officials who say modern factory-built homes are no more susceptible to fire than houses built on site. The issue is that smaller, more confined dwellings tend to burn faster. The article notes the improvement in fire safety of post-1976 homes manufactured to the HUD code. For more on the topic, we called Foremost Insurance who put us in touch with several experts on the subject. Mike Cok, Senior Vice President of Property Products at Foremost says when you consider fire damage as a percent of the home’s value, manufactured homes can carry some added risk of fire loss given that manufactured home values are typically lower than site built housing (due to their affordability). “If a site built house and a manufactured home both sustain $10,000 of fire damage, the portion related to manufactured home value would be higher,” Cok says. “That is not the same thing as saying that fires in manufactured homes perform differently than site built, or that we have any data that suggest that there is greater frequency of fire in manufactured homes versus site built. We do not see in our data any increase in fire frequency with manufactured homes compared to site built homes.” Look for a full analysis soon at

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