In response to a request by the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC), the NFPA issued an update to its 2005 report on manufactured home fires. The updated report says that post standards homes had a 54 percent lower rate of civilian death and 22 percent lower rate of injuries than pre HUD-Code Homes. The report also concludes that manufactured homes have a lower rate of fires and fire injuries than other one or two family homes.
An initial analysis of the report finds it too flawed to be of any value. Since 1999 only two percent of all manufactured home fires reported include the year of manufacture, and therefore it is impossible to know if the deaths and injuries reported since 1999 were from fires in pre HUD Code homes. By it’s own admission, NPFA reports that the 2005-2009 data collected by NFPA misses many if not most confined fires in manufactured homes.
However, in comparing deaths and injuries between manufactured homes and other single family homes, NFPA uses the confined fire data for other single family homes, and excludes that data for manufactured homes. This skews the injury and death data in favor of single family homes. Importantly, data collected for manufactured home fires, as stated in the report, “ could include some trailers.” The report also says that casualty and loss projections can be heavily influenced by one “unusually severe” fire.