Are you buying or own a Tiny House?
The Tiny House industry seems to be on fire today. Hundreds of YouTube channels and several weekly shows on cable networks feature people around the country and the world designing, building, and living in, Tiny Houses. But are they safe?
What is a Tiny House?
The actual definition is not set in stone, but most agree that a Tiny House is a fully functional residence that contains less than 400 square feet of usable space.
There are numerous videos and articles discussing the difficulties of downsizing lifestyles to fit this miniature footprint, focusing on how to maximize the usage of space, what kinds of appliances to use, and how to heat and cool efficiently. But there are always safety issues.
Can a Tiny House be Safe?
Like any residence, the biggest safety risk is from fire. Due to the size of a Tiny House, fire spreads quickly. The smaller the space, the less time a family has to react to the situation. The fact that many Tiny House designs call for the sleeping area to be in a loft makes quick escape even more difficult.
But, as with most problems, there are often simple and effective solutions.
· Make sure your Tiny House is constructed by a reputable manufacturer and has been inspected. A common cause of residential fires, whether in a traditional house, a tiny house, or even an RV, are poorly installed wiring, gas lines and fixtures. While the Tiny House movement is still young, there are certifications available that can help insure that the unit you purchase is properly constructed. These include:
o RVIA Recreational Vehicle Industry Association – A set of safety and quality standards used to certify standard RVs. These rules apply to Tiny Houses as well.
o NOAH National Organization of Alternative Housing – An organization that is specific to the Tiny House industry.
· Have safety equipment. These include:
o Fire Extinguishers
o Smoke, Oxygen, Carbon Monoxide, and LP Gas detectors, for early warning of an impending emergency.
o Emergency Exits including egress windows.
How to Fireproof a Tiny House
A key strategy for preventing and minimizing fires in a Tiny House is to treat as many surfaces as possible with fire retardants, chemicals that slow or stop the spread of a fire in the structure. Companies like National Fireproofing, Inc. (natfire.com) can provide a full line of fire retardant spays and treatments that can help you protect your Tiny House and your family.
· Wood Surfaces: Most Tiny Houses have larger percentage of wood surfaces than RVs or traditional homes. This is due to the fact that plaster and sheet rock, materials often used for walls and ceilings, are subject to cracking when the tiny house is being moved. While many manufacturers treat the wooden framing and paneling of their products during the build, you can still protect your house with aftermarket sprays that will help slow the spread of fire.
· Fabrics: Many Tiny Houses feature curtains and other fabric treatments for privacy and control of ambient lighting. Curtains are light and easy to install. But they can also present a fire hazard, especially in a small, enclosed space. By treating your curtains, drapes, and upholstery with the appropriate fire retardant spray, you will help to secure your home and the lives of your family.
· Non-Toxic Products: Our flame retardant are non-toxic and environmentally safe.