The 8 Biggest Dangers To Mobile Homes & How To Stay Safe
Unfortunately, life is full of danger. You will find it no matter where you go. The same can be said if you are living in a mobile home. Luckily there are steps you can take to keep you and your family safe.
You can take steps to protect your house and other possessions too.
In this article, we are going to look at some of the biggest dangers that people living in mobile homes face. Besides this, we will discuss how you can keep yourself safe and everything you care for safe.
Some of the biggest threats that anyone will face living in the U.S. are natural disasters. Unlike some other potential dangers, we can do nothing to stop them. We can only try to protect ourselves from the damage they can cause.
Of these, one of the most deadly is tornadoes. On average, about 1000 tornadoes are reported every year nationwide.
The states with the most tornadoes every year are Texas, Georgia, and Missouri. But Louisiana and Mississippi are close behind.
These weather phenomenon can cause extensive property damage as well. Depending on how it was constructed, your mobile home could be very vulnerable.
How to stay safe
First, it is essential that you choose your mobile home wisely. Thanks to the HUD code, manufacturers construct their newer models from higher quality materials and are more durable and sturdy. So if you are worried, buy a property that was built after 1976.
Secondly, you need to make sure that your mobile home is securely anchored to the ground. In this case, permanent foundations made from concrete will work the best. This can help to keep your house from being flipped or picked up by the tornado.
Lastly, you should make sure where your nearest FEMA-certified tornado shelter is. Keep an eye on the news and weather broadcasts so that you and your family can reach one of these shelters in time.
Fire is a double-edged sword. Even though it is so useful, it can be perilous as well.
Housefires can have devastating effects on property and the people who live there whether it is a site-built house or a mobile home. Sadly it is quite common. At least one fire department in the United States responds to a fire every 24 seconds.
How to stay safe
In the case of fire, there is much you can do to prevent it from ever erupting in your home. Importantly you need to stop any potential causes. There shouldn’t be any open flames in your home. All candles and lamps need to be covered, and your fireplace should be well maintained.
Be particularly cautious when it comes to gas that you use for cooking, heating, or lighting.
Another common cause of household fires is electrical faults. It can be a great idea to have your home inspected every now and again for any issues. If you find any irregularities with your appliances or with power that trips, immediately call a qualified electrician.
If you haven’t done so yet, install smoke detectors throughout your home. And if you have already, test them every now and again to make sure they work.
Everyone in the household needs to know where the fire extinguisher is and how to call the fire department. You need to teach your kids about fire safety from a young age.
Another potentially deadly natural disaster in the United States is hurricanes. A tropical cyclone is a weather system which rotates and has organized thunderstorms but no fronts. But these are called hurricanes once the winds reach speeds of 74 mph.
On average, seven of these storms hit the United States every four years. Hearing names of past systems like Hurricane Harvey are enough to send a chill down your spine.
If you live in an area that is at risk or is near the coast, it can be essential to take precautionary measures.
How to stay safe
There are wind zone maps which divide the country into regions depending on the wind speeds that you could expect there. You need to make sure that your mobile home is suited to your location.
So one way to protect you and your property from hurricanes or strong winds is to make sure it is up to code for your relevant zone.
As with tornadoes, it’s crucial to tie down your house securely. You can contact a local inspector to check whether your anchors and foundation are adequate.
You need to make preparations from the moment you hear that a storm is approaching. Secure anything that is loose and can be swept away by the wind. This is necessary to protect you and your family from flying debris.
In addition to this, you need to keep your windows shut. Prevent them from breaking by installing high-quality shutters or shutting them with plywood or storm panels.
Carry anything you can inside and prepare any exterior buildings and structures like sheds.
#4 Wild animals and other fauna
The wild animals in our country might be wonderful and beautiful. But many of them are dangerous too.
Lots of these creatures can harm you, your family, and your pets. Some of them can even cause havoc on your property.
Here are a few of the animals that you should take note of:
- Venomous spiders
- Venomous snakes
- Raccoons aka “Trash Panda”
These can either harm your or your possessions or in a few cases both.
Many others can be dangerous. But some of these species like cougars will only rarely approach human settlements.
How to stay safe
The safety measures you can take depend on which animals you are likely to encounter. No matter the species, the only thing you can really do is to try to prevent them from gaining access to your mobile home and lot.
Therefore, one solution can be to spray repellents around your property. You can buy chemical products or make your own with ingredients like pepper.
Even better, you should make sure that the fences around your lot are in good condition.
Animals like raccoons are mostly attracted to food in or around your home. That’s why it’s crucial to remove and put all food items out of reach.
Smaller critters like spiders and snakes can be even more challenging to deal with. However, it can help you to thoroughly clean your house and clear any debris from your garden.
Remember that there are state laws and regulations which determine what you can and cannot do. So whenever you are in doubt, contact your local wildlife and animal authorities. They can help you deal with any problems in a way that keeps you and the animals safe and unharmed.
Not all of the threats originate in the natural world, however. Humans are typically the most dangerous to each other. Whether it is robbery or mugging, crime is everywhere. It can be grim to study the crime statistics of the United States in any given year.
But awareness can help you to keep you and the people you care for safe.
How to stay safe
First, you should learn to trust your instincts. If you something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Be extra aware of your surroundings and remove yourself from the situation if you can.
It doesn’t help to be overly paranoid, but be cautious about the situations you find yourself in.
Secondly, it’s crucial that you know the relevant emergency numbers off by heart. You need to know who you can call when there is a problem. Teach your children these numbers as well. And just in case, write them down or save them on your phone so that you have them on hand.
Next, you could try to make your house safer. The first measure should be to install fencing as a barrier around your lot. Always follow general safety advice like locking your doors and closing windows.
It can also make a considerable difference to install a security system with movement detectors and alarms in your mobile home. For even more peace of mind, you could hire a security company as well.
#6 Identity theft
The fastest growing crime in the United States is identity theft. A reported 41 million Americans have been fallen victim to this.
Identity theft can be defined as securing someone else’s personal details and using them for illegal purposes. As such it can occur in a variety of different ways.
Most often the information is used by criminals for financial fraud. They use it to steal money from your account or buy things in your name.
Our reliance on credit cards and virtual money make you even more vulnerable to this type of crime.
How to stay safe
Thankfully, there are plenty of measures you can take to try to protect yourself. Here is a list of some of the primary steps:
- Store all your personal information and documents in a safe place.
- Hide your social security number wherever possible.
- Don’t freely give your personal details to anyone.
- Shred any documents with personal details. For example, destroy bank statements and credit card statements.
- Devise complex passwords for all your online accounts and keep them secret.
- Regularly review your bank or card accounts to make sure there weren’t any unregulated transactions.
- Install virus-detection software and firewalls on all your digital devices.
Two dangers that can creep into the very walls of your mobile home are mold and mildew. They are often a hidden threat as they grow inside the structures from which the property is built.
Visible signs are black or colored stains and growths on the surfaces of your house. You can also see dampness through cracked or peeling paint.
Mold thrives in damp conditions. That’s why it typically becomes an issue after a flood or severe storms. But it is often caused by leaking pipes and even roofs and ceilings that aren’t adequately sealed.
All of these fungi can have terrible effects on your health. Of all of them, the so-called black mold is particularly notorious. Here are some symptoms that can be caused by exposure to mold:
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Frequent colds
- General fatigue and lethargy
- Allergic reactions
Many of these become persistent after long term exposure.
How to stay safe
It is much easier to prevent mold and mildew from taking root than to get rid of it. Much of it boils down to preventing damp and wet conditions.
First, you need to reduce the humidity in your house. Install dehumidifiers and try to improve the ventilation in the home.
Secondly, you should regularly check for any leaks and fix them as soon as you find them.
Whenever your home is exposed to persistent wet conditions, like a flood, you need to remove all the water. And make sure that everything dries out as soon as possible.
If you have any concerns, it is recommended to call an inspector or mold expert. They will be able to tell you whether there is any in your house and how you can take care of the problem.
#8 Electrical issues
Electrical faults aren’t only a fire hazard. They can literally shock you, your family members, or pets. Additionally, they can cause severe damage and potentially be fatal.
Wiring in any home is a complex system. And a small issue in any part of the circuit can cause significant problems throughout.
The following are signs that something is wrong with your wiring:
- Your circuit breaker trips repeatedly or regularly.
- Some switches and sockets in your home don’t work. Or they work sometimes, and at other times they don’t.
- Bulbs and appliances become hot to the touch from regular use.
- You can smell something burning when you turn on an appliance or socket.
- Lights flicker.
- Sparks come out of sockets.
How to stay safe
You have to be extremely careful whenever you are dealing with electricity. It is always best to consult an electrician if any fault arises. However, there are a few measures you can take to keep your household and property safe.
Importantly, you should always pay careful attention when you are using power and electrical appliances.
If you notice that the electricity sags whenever you switch a specific item on, it could be faulty, Stop using it immediately and take it in for testing or repairs.
Don’t overload your sockets. Too many plugs in one socket can trip the circuit breaker.
There shouldn’t be any exposed wires on your home. Unplug and fix any appliances with damaged wiring before you use it. And contact an expert if you find open cables in your walls or ceilings.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to prepare for everything that can go wrong in the world. And we can never predict which threats are going to cross our paths. But by no means does this mean we shouldn’t try to protect ourselves.
We can completely stop some threats from doing damage and can significantly reduce the impact of others.
If you want more information on how you can keep your family safe, read our article on 3 health risks of mobile homes & how to avoid them. And take a look at the best air purifiers & products for your mobile home.