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Drama in Ohio: Fake News, Facts and Myths

April 26th, 2017 Comments off
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Credit: Media Nation.

The ongoing battle between the Ohio Manufactured Housing Association (OMHA) and Ohio Governor John Kasich over the status of the Ohio Manufactured Housing Commission (OMHC) has been taken to a whole new level, with what informed sources  are calling “fake news.”

According to a story from WOSU, Gov. Kasich wants to merge the OMHC with the Department of Commerce, which includes the fire marshal’s office.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, The Ohio Fire Chief’s Association sent a letter to lawmakers at the end of March supporting a provision in the state budget to kill the commission. The Daily Business News covered the response from the commission in a story linked here.

Commentary from the association, and the state fire marshal, was inflammatory.

30 people died in 1,208 manufactured home fires between 2012 and 2016,” said the letter from the Association.

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Credit: OMHA.

Ohioans are 4.2 times more likely to die in a manufactured home that caught fire than one- or two-family home,” said state Fire Marshal Larry Flowers, who cited a four-year study of state data showing there are more fatal fires in manufactured homes in Ohio than in any other surrounding state.

OMHA Executive Director Tim Williams fired back, calling out the association on their “facts,” pointing out the facts versus myths surrounding manufactured homes and fires, noting that homes built under post-1976 federal regulations have the same rates in this area as traditional homes.

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Tim Williams, OMHA.

The administration is spreading false information and misleading information because the commission is pushing back against Kasich’s proposal,” said Williams.

Local or state fire officials have no authority to inspect or educate or require different fire codes for manufactured homes.”

Williams has also testified extensively before three different House of Representatives Finance Committees.

The Swamp has risen up against our residents and industry. OMHA and AMHRO have united on behalf of our residents and businesses to oppose the Ohio Department of Commerce’s extravagant request for spending authority of 30% more to conduct the same program,” said Williams.

Incredibly, the Department of Commerce not only wants more money but would drastically reduce the Commission’s 100% inspection of all new and used home installations, thus jeopardizing the safety of our homeowners and residents.”

 

Terminology Matters 

In a recent story from the Daily Business News about mobile and manufactured home myths and facts, we shined a bright light on the differences between mobile and manufactured homes, and why terminology matters.

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Chief Mark Keller. Official Photo.

This fire involved a true mobile home and was not a manufactured home. I do not have the age of the mobile home available right now,” Urbana Fire Chief Mark Keller told MHProNews.

Mobile homes are inherently bad with fire conditions. They’re not really designed to withhold any kind of fire.”

As an Industry, we are always saddened to hear of such tragedies such as the fire that occurred in Champaign County,” said OMHA Assistant Director Andrea Reichman, commenting on the story.

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Andrea Reichman. Credit: LinkedIn.

As noted by the local Fire Chief Mark Keller, the home involved was a ‘mobile home,’ which indicates the home was built prior to the 1976 HUD Code Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards,” Reichman said.

Often times such incidents are reported inaccurately, and facilitate the image that manufactured homes are not safe when nothing could be further from the truth.  Manufactured homes are no more prone to fire than homes built on-site. The 1986 national fire safety study by the Foremost Insurance Company showed that site-built homes are more than twice as likely to experience a fire than manufactured homes,” said Reichman.

The issues in Ohio point to a larger trend that’s happening nationally, and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has spoken out against what it calls “sloppy journalism.”

While any harm to people or property is regrettable, there is no excuse for sloppy journalism that can harm the industry and consumers. The fact is that today’s federally regulated manufactured homes are as safe or safer than other types of homes when it comes to fire, as shown by research done by the National Fire Protection Association on multiple fire safety metrics,” said M. Mark Weiss, JD, President CEO of MHARR.

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M. Mark Weiss. Credit: MHProNews.

It is therefore misleading and a disservice to readers to fail to distinguish between pre-1976 ‘mobile homes,’ said Weiss, and today’s manufactured homes. This is why MHARR successfully demanded several years ago that the U.S. Fire Administration remove similarly misleading language from it’s website. 

The industry and consumers need to insist on an accurate media portrayal of today’s high-quality manufactured homes,” said Weiss.

For more on the battle between the Governor’s office and OMHA over the OMHC, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews

Mobile, Manufactured Home Fire Myths go Up in Smoke

February 2nd, 2017 Comments off
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Text graphic, MHProNews, original photo, Springfield News Sun.

A tragic event in Champaign County, Ohio, on Monday shined a bright light on the differences between mobile and manufactured homes, and why terminology matters.

The mobile home fire left Kalleen Emmons, 23, in critical condition and Robert Garringer, 31, in serious condition. Two children were also injured.

According to the Springfield News-Sun, which did not reply to MHProNews requests for clarification on the type of home involved in the blaze, firefighters were dispatched to the scene Monday at 12:15 a.m.  There they discovered the four victims, who had already escaped from the burning home, thanks to a smoke alarm.

The four were transferred by ambulance to Springfield Regional Medical Center.

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Chief Mark Keller. Official Photo.

This fire involved a true mobile home and was not a manufactured home. I do not have the age of the mobile home available right now,” Urbana Fire Chief Mark Keller told MHProNews.

 

 

Mobile homes are inherently bad with fire conditions. They’re not really designed to withhold any kind of fire.

Chief Keller said that the home was a total loss and the fire also damaged siding on the home next door.

Usually once a window is broken out, it spreads very quickly throughout the rest of the trailer [sic]. And that’s pretty much what we had happened.

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The NFPA clearly understands the importance of proper terminology, as the clip from their Manufactured Homes Fires report, makes clear. As an editorial point, one of many reasons that MHProNews and MHLivingNews stress the value of precise terminology is because while some older mobile homes were built to better standards, many other pre-HUD Code mobile homes were not. The HUD Code – which starting June 15, 1976 established tough federal safety, energy and construction standards – resulted in a home building process that performs dynamically as well (or better) than conventional housing for about half the cost, according to third party studies; including the NFPA.  These HUD Code homes should only be referred to in reports as a manufactured home, or manufactured housing.

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Terminology Matters

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Andrea Reichman. Credit: LinkedIn.

As an Industry, we are always saddened to hear of such tragedies such as the fire that occurred in Champaign County,” said Andrea Reichman, Assistant Director of the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA).

 

As noted by the local Fire Chief Mark Keller, the home involved was a ‘mobile home,which indicates the home was built prior to the 1976 HUD Code Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards,” Reichman said.

Often times such incidents are reported inaccurately, and facilitate the image that manufactured homes are not safe when nothing could be further from the truth.  Manufactured homes are no more prone to fire than homes built on-site. The 1986 national fire safety study by the Foremost Insurance Company showed that site-built homes are more than twice as likely to experience a fire than manufactured homes,” said Reichman.

About 20 percent of all MH are pre-HUD Code mobile homes, so, the balance would be manufactured homes.

While many ‘mobile homes’ are replaced every day some still exist. OMHA was encouraged to hear that the home had smoke detectors that were activated during the fire. The industry encourages homeowners to install and test their smoke detectors monthly per the recommendation of the National Fire Protection Association for all residential properties,” she told MHProNews.

MobileManufacturedHomeFireMythsgoUpinSmokecreditNFPAMHLivingNews-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credits: MHLivingNews, NFPA.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, a “mobile homehas not been built in the U.S. since June 15th 1976, the day the first federally regulated manufactured homes began to the sounds of nail guns and saws in production centers from coast to coast.

National View on the MH Fire Issue

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For “A Cup of Coffee With…” MHARR president and CEO M. Mark Weiss, click here or on the photo. Credit: MHProNews.

While any harm to people or property is regrettable, there is no excuse for sloppy journalism that can harm the industry and consumers. The fact is that today’s federally regulated manufactured homes are as safe or safer than other types of homes when it comes to fire, as shown by research done by the National Fire Protection Association on multiple fire safety metrics,” said M. Mark Weiss, JD, President CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Weiss’ comments to the Daily Business News raises an important point.

Namely, that “sloppy journalism” can be harmful to the proper image and understanding of manufactured homes.  That in turn arguably harms manufactured home owner’s values.  Inaccurate media coverage also deters some would-be home buyers of manufactured housing, who might otherwise purchase one; if they realize how safe, appealing, energy-efficient, and affordable contemporary manufactured homes are.

Those lost new and pre-owned MH sales opportunities cost the industry’s businesses money, and workers better-paying job opportunities.

It is therefore misleading and a disservice to readers to fail to distinguish between pre-1976 ‘mobile homes,’ said Weiss, “and today’s manufactured homes. This is why MHARR successfully demanded several years ago that the U.S. Fire Administration remove similarly misleading language from it’s website. 

The industry and consumers need to insist on an accurate media portrayal of today’s high-quality manufactured homes,” said Weiss.

An industry wag told the Daily Business News that it’s inaccurate reporting that should go up in smoke – because compared to other forms of housing – modern manufactured homes more rarely do.  Still, prudent precautions such as smoke detectors ought to be followed, along with other safety steps reported in detail at this link here.

For more on the NFPA report on fire safety of modern manufactured home compared to conventional housing and mobile homes, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Repairing Your Manufactured or Modular Home – Facts, Myths and Clarity

December 17th, 2016 Comments off
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Credit: Seeking Alpha.

Way back in the 1940s, when Arizona’s population really took off, manufactured and mobile [sic] homes helped provide housing for new residents, and today there are still many developments of manufactured housing scattered throughout the state,” writes Rosie Romero, an Arizona based homebuilding and remodeling expert, in the Green Valley News.

Romero makes a good point: manufactured or modular homes today are vastly different than those of the past. Older communities were created when building codes were different, in some instances with very narrow homes and small pads.

Today, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a manufactured or modular home and a site built home. Even so, old stereotypes still exist.

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Credit: Rosie On The House.

Some repair people and contractors may shy away from working on modular,” said Romero.

 

 

 

Owners of these homes tell us they have trouble having pipes or electrical equipment fixed or windows or porches replaced. Some contractors say that’s because the plumbing and other systems in these houses can be very different.

Manufactured and modular homes must comply with the same building codes that other homes in the state follow,” said Neal T. Haney of NTH Property Management in Mesa, which has clients throughout the state.

Contractors and remodelers need to recognize that today’s manufactured and modular homes are built to the same standards and can easily be repaired. Sometimes the plumbing may be installed under the home in a slightly different way, but it’s very accessible.

Romero notes that while it may be hard to find parts for some older homes, there are websites that carry them online, in addition to stores throughout the state.

If a home is kept in good shape and has regular upgrades, owners can often resell their home to new owners,” said Haney. “But when an owner lets a home deteriorate, the cost of repairs becomes more than the value of the home itself.

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Credit: MHLivingNews.

MHProNews and MHLivingNews have provided extensive coverage around the subject of manufactured housing and how it compares – and often exceeds – the required standards when compared to site built homes, constructed faster and less expensive in a controlled environment.

The video and related story pictured above is linked here. ##

(Note: This writer recently visited a five-star manufactured home community. Once inside, I could tell no discernible difference between the manufactured home I was visiting and conventional site-built housing.)

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

As Winter Approaches, Fire Safety Facts and Myths Take Center Stage

December 2nd, 2016 Comments off

I, MarcusObal [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia CommonsAs another winter arrives and the weather cools, people make a mad dash for heaters and fireplaces.

This of course can be dangerous if those options are not used or maintained properly.

According to News-Press Now, an example of that danger occurred early Wednesday morning In St. Joseph, Missouri when firefighters responded to a blaze in what was described as a “mobile home.

Investigators believe the woman who lived in the home was heating it with candles. One of the candles fell onto a mattress, igniting a fire at about 5 a.m.

Battalion Chief Russell Moore said the home did not have electrical service and firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze.

The resident and her pets were not injured in the incident.

Fire Inspector Steve Henrichson said such incidents are not uncommon.

Frequent factors in winter home heating fires were space heaters and extension cords,” said Henrichson.

The big thing is with space heaters, nothing within 3 feet, and don’t use an extension cord. Most extension cords aren’t rated for the amount of electricity going through, and the extension cord itself gets overheated and sets something on fire.

Facts versus Myths

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Credit: Stoveguard, MHLivingNews.

It is important to note that carelessness, in this instance and many others, is often the cause of home fires as opposed to the home itself.

Manufactured homes tend to get a bad rap as a cause for such incidents, even though the facts show that HUD code manufactured homes can be more fire-resistant than comparable conventional homes.

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Fires in housing of all prices and types often increase during the winter months. The report linked below from the NFPA documents the fact that mobile homes are more fire prone and more likely to involve death by fire than HUD Code manufactured homes are. There have been no mobile homes built in the U.S. since June 15, 1976 – see link here. Conventional house ablaze, photo credit, Genius-com.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.

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From NFPA Fire Analysis and Research Report, found as a download from the article linked above.  Manufactured housing – as opposed to mobile homes – have a safety record against losses of life in fires that are lower than far more costly conventional housing.  While the source material in the story cited above is not clear, in general, stories about losses of life in an older unit that a reporter or editor is saying is a mobile home, may well in fact be a mobile home.

MHLivingNews provides in-depth coverage of the facts – and myths – surrounding manufactured housing to set the record straight. You’ll find one of those featured stories here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Conference will Target Modular Construction

February 27th, 2013 Comments off

As virtual-strategy tells MHProNews, the Modular Building Institute (MBI) and the Pratt Institute School of Architecture will co-host an all-day modular construction summit in Brooklyn, NY on May 16, 2013 at the Institute. As interest in modular techniques continues to rise, the gathering will debunk the myths and present the realities of offsite building. With high-profile architects and builders, the morning session will address multifamily modular construction, while the afternoon panel will discuss disaster relief and emergency housing. Open to the general public, attendees may also tour the factory of Capsys Corporation, which is building the ten-story My Micro NY project, a modular apartment building of mini-apartments set to open in 2015.

(Image credit: realestateweekly–Forest City Ratner modular apartments, Brooklyn,NY)

At Louisville: Industry Execs Meet the Press

January 18th, 2013 Comments off

In a Meet the Media Morning at the Louisville Manufactured Home Show Thurs. Jan. 24, from 9-11 AM, the press has been invited to see the quality of factory-built homes for themselves to dispel the misconceptions about the industry and the product.
Top-named officials in the industry, companies associations and professionals from across North America will engage with the media after they tour some of the 39 homes installed in the Kentucky Exhibition Center.

Although closed to the general public, some 1700 professionals from across North America will be in attendance at what has become the largest indoor trade show in the nation, perhaps beyond.

The Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation (MMHF) is the parent body for the Louisville Show. MMHF Chairman Ron Thomas says, “We at the Louisville Show want to treat the media to a spectacular array of dozens of new homes, to see the products and services our industry offers, all under one climate controlled roof.”

Louisville Show promoter and MHProNews publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach says, “There are so many myths and misconceptions out there, that the best way for the media or anyone else to understand the truth about factory built housing is for them to personally see the homes.”

Members of the media seeking admission should contact Dennis Hill, Show Manager, 800 Old Roswell Lakes Parkway, Suite 140, Roswell, GA 30076, Phone: (770) 587-3350 and be prepared to show media credentials.

(Photo credit: A kitchen in one of the 39 homes at the Louisville Show.)

Modular Epoch Homes Honored Twice

October 29th, 2012 Comments off

As Melodika tells MHProNews, the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Building Systems Council (BSC) awarded Epoch Homes first place for the best 3,001-4,000 square foot modular home at their Jerry Rouleau awards Showcase. Epoch also won first place for Excellence in Design-Green Building. With numerous honors under its belt, the company built this ocean front home on Cape Cod, Mass. in conjunction with Old Harbor Homes, incorporating structural elements to take advantage of the expansive view as well as to resist strong storms. John Ela, Epoch CEO stated, “We often say that modular should be viewed as a construction technology that saves time and money, rather than a particular look, or a cookie cutter design, and this home is a great illustration. Our long history of building award winning homes has gone a long way to dispel old myths and misunderstandings about modular homes. (They) are faster, lower cost, higher quality and lower risk, than other construction technologies.” Now in its 30th year, Epoch has been a trailblazer in the green technology modular home movement, including LEED Certification and the National Green Building Standard Emerald level.

(Photo credit: Epoch Homes–Cape Cod award-winning house.)