The alarms sounded as water extinguished flames from a small kitchen fire.
No one was home, but most of the Orange County family’s belongings were spared thanks to fire suppression equipment installed in the FEMA Manufactured Housing Unit (MHU).
Due to fire and water damage within the unit, Red Cross and FEMA worked together to place the family in a hotel. There was minor damage to the residents’ personal property. FEMA arranged for a moving company to assist the family to move their belongings out of the damaged unit. FEMA replaced the family’s MHU within 48 hours.
The cause was likely a phone charger that was plugged into an outlet and caught fire. The tank and pump system (TPS) performed as designed, turning on the sprinklers and putting out the fire.
The TPS holds 300 gallons of water; it is not designed to extinguish a fire, but it offers additional time to escape. The sprinklers keep fires small by reducing the heat, flames and smoke. Sprinkler sensors are located in each room and activate at 155 degrees.
The sprinkler system contains a water tank, pump, controls and two alarms. The first alarm activates when a fire is detected and the pump starts running. If this alarm sounds, all residents, including pets, should get out of the home immediately. One of the residents should call the fire department from a safe location. A second alarm will sound and flash if the system needs maintenance.
FEMA is committed to the safety and accessibility of its manufactured housing units. FEMA’s MHUs meet U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development standards, which include factory-installed smoke alarms and sprinkler systems. All units are also supplied with a fire extinguisher.
For more information on Hurricane Harvey and Texas recovery, visit the Hurricane Harvey disaster web page at www.fema.gov/disaster/4332, or Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/FEMAharvey, the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6, or the Texas Division of Emergency Management website at https://www.dps.texas.gov/dem/.