Factory-Built Homes/Modular Homes Contact Information
||888-648-0877 or 601-359-1067
Factory-Built Homes/Modular Homes Overview
The Mississippi Manufactured Housing Association estimates that as many as
520,000, or 25 percent of our states residents (using 1990 Census figures) live in a
Factory-Built Home. However, few Mississippians realize that the State Fire Marshals
Office, a division of the Mississippi Insurance Department, oversees this rapidly growing
segment of the housing marketplace.
The State Fire Marshals Office licenses manufacturers, dealers, and
installers/transporters of Factory-Built Homes in Mississippi. The State Fire
Marshals Office also monitors proper anchoring and blocking of factory-built homes,
and enforces federal standards governing proper construction practices. Currently, the
office receives about 500 complaints each year, and maintains a caseload of approximately
300 active complaints.
Regulatory oversight of the
Factory-Built Housing industry was first assigned to
the State Fire Marshals Office in 1970 with the passage of the Factory-Built homes
Law, which outlined the construction practices of what were then called "mobile"
or "relocatable" homes. Then in 1974, based on a nationwide rash of serious
defects, the federal Factory-Built Homes Construction Safety Standards Act was passed.
Mississippi in turn adopted this legislation two years later as its set of construction
standards for Factory-Built Homes. The law is enforced by the State Fire Marshals
Office under contract to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In addition to "mobile" or "relocatable" homes built before
1974, and "factory-built housing" built after that date, the SFM also has
responsibility under state law for oversight of a newer category of factory-built housing,
the "modular" home.
When a new factory-built home is purchased, it comes with a one year warranty. If
a consumer cannot resolve defect-related issues with the dealer and manufacturer during
that one year period, homeowners can contact the State Fire Marshals Office for
assistance by calling toll-free within Mississippi at 888-648-0877. It is
recommend that consumers seek the cooperation of their dealer or manufacturer first.
After the homeowner files his or her complaint with the State Fire
Marshals Office, the homes manufacturer and dealer are requested to identify
and repair the problems. The Office then inspects the home to make sure that it was
installed or "set up" correctly, including adequate anchoring and blocking to
prevent storm damage. Many, if not a majority, of consumer-related problems with
Factory-Built Housing are caused by faulty or inadequate set-up.
If a manufacturing defect is identified, possible remedies range from securing
the voluntary cooperation of the manufacturer to repair the homeowners problem to
convening a hearing before the Commissioner of Insurance and levying appropriate fines and
penalties against the dealer or manufacturer.
The State Fire Marshals Office also makes monthly visits to manufacturing
facilities in order to identify consistent problems with homes such as roof, shower, or
wallboard problems. This provides a check and balance to insure quality control over
Factory-Built Homes currently being built in Mississippi.
Factory-Built Homes/Modular Homes Housing Safety Tips
- Make sure that your home is installed by a licensed installer/transporter
licensed by the State Fire Marshals Office and tied down properly in order to make
sure that the home remains stable during a storm event. All homes are designed to be tied
down as described in the installation manual that came with your home. If a manual did not
come with your home, contact the manufacturer for one. If the installation manual is not
available, then use minimum standards available at the State Fire Marshals Office.
- Make sure that your home has a working smoke detector. It is recommended that you
have a working fire extinguisher.
- Residents always closely monitor adverse weather and follow the
recommendations of the National Weather Service and local emergency management officials.
It is a good idea to have a weather radio, preferably one that automatically activates in
case of an alert.
Factory-Built Homes/Modular Homes Licensing
Some of the Factory-Built Homes/Modular Homes Licensing Applications may be filled electronically but all of the applications may be
filled manually. To fill an application electronically, follow the instructions contained on the form, type in the information, and print
the form; the completed form cannot be saved. To complete an application manually, print the blank form, follow the instructions contained on the form, and write in the information.
To fill a application electronically, you
must install the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer. It may be
downloaded free from the Adobe Website.