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Opinion >  Letters

Disposable housing

We shake our heads in our distant disbelief, holding fast that we are much smarter than the seven victims of the March 21 New York City fire. Not so fast.

Live in a double-wide trailer, do you (i.e. manufactured home or disposable housing)? You could be in more peril than you realize.

My wife’s 1999 double-wide has windows installed on top of siding, no overflow drain on any sink or tub, electrical boxes cut into wall cavities (not nailed to studs), two-by-three finger-jointed interior wall studs labeled “vertical use only” with one-by-three top and bottom plates, and two hardwired smoke detectors in a hallway and a living room. No battery backup. Such maladies are not found outside of trailer houses.

If this were an inspected site-built home in 1999, there would be five hard-wired with battery backup smoke detectors, all wired together so if one went off, all five would go off.

In 2008, a fire burned through 150 mobiles in the “Beverly Hills of Trailer Parks” in Sylmar, California. In the Northwest, we put wood stoves in trailer parks that are often next to the BNSF Railway mainline. Even worse.

But yeah, disposable housing does burn better.

Mike Reno

Post Falls

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