Tiny House Safety: 5 Major Safety Issues You Can’t Ignore

Tiny House Safety: 5 Major Safety Issues You Can’t Ignore

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Living in a small quaint house sure does sound like a dream. And with the Tiny House Movement, that dream isn’t far from reach for many. Nevertheless, you still have to face issues such as tiny house safety.

Just because you’re living in a tiny house doesn’t mean you’re free from hazards. Below, we discuss these five crucial safety issues of living in a tiny house. 

5 major tiny house safety issues

In the US, you will find many different types of small housing. The tiny house that we’re describing below is any dwelling that measures less than 400 square feet and is built on foundations, as defined by this review. 

If you’re planning to live in a tiny house, you have to face reality. Having one isn’t a walk in real estate park. Read on to know more.

1. Fire hazards

burnt roof of an old house.
Burnt roof of an old tiny house

There are two common fire hazards in most tiny houses—combustible materials and space heaters. 

If a tiny house is built with combustible materials, and you use gas or electric heaters and gas stoves, the fire risk is greater. 

For example, plywood fire is a Class A fire, which means the fire can spread easily on a structure built with plywood. Therefore, if you’re planning to buy or build a tiny house, consider other non-combustible materials. 

Fiberglass, for example, won’t burn when it catches fire—instead, it will just melt. Besides that, it’s also lightweight, strong, and an excellent heat insulator, which means you can rely on it during cold nights. 

Moreover, because it’s a tiny house, you should watch out for space heaters. Appliances like space heaters commonly cause deadly fires in US homes because they easily overheat.  

2. Carbon monoxide poisoning

a hand holding a white carbon monoxide detector device.
This CO detector will help save lives.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning is a common house hazard, but it’s deadlier than others since it’s colorless and odorless. Therefore, it’s very tricky to detect without a device, making it even more critical in a tight space with poorly designed ventilation. 

Since a tiny house is often tightly sealed, you have to be three times careful with equipment. A gas-powered kitchen range, especially, gives off a lot of CO when you start it. 

The CO level in your kitchen’s air elevates even more when you don’t use a range hood when using your gas range. So, don’t forget to use that range hood to reduce the harm of CO. 

Are you still serious about living in a tiny house? Besides using a range hood when cooking, you can also invest in a carbon monoxide detector. In the US, 27 states mandate residential buildings with fossil-fuel burning devices to install at least one CO alarm. 

Other cost-effective ways to prevent CO poisoning is making sure your kitchen is well-ventilated and letting a qualified pro inspect your gas range for combustion safety. 

3. Indoor air quality 

female Asian disgusted of indoor air quality in her house.
Indoor air quality has long-term effects on wellness.

Indoor air quality is a significant factor in your wellness. Whether you’re in a tiny house or a workspace, the indoor air quality will affect your physical health and even your productivity. According to this study, people perform poorly if they work in an area with terrible indoor air quality. 

Now, in a typical residential house, improving the indoor air quality can be as simple and cheap as opening the doors and windows. However, in a tiny house, it can be a bit trickier. Compared to a wider space, where the moisture can dilute better, a tiny house with poor indoor air quality will bring you many issues. 

Humidity problem

First, you might encounter a humidity problem. When a house in an already humid area develops a high level of air moisture, it will pose some risks to the occupants. People’s bodies might not cool down easily, exposing them to a risk of heat strokes. 

Allergies

Another issue you might encounter with a humid place is allergies. Dust mites thrive on air moisture since they can’t absorb water. Their waste is particularly dangerous, as it can trigger allergic reactions like red eyes, sneezing, runny nose, inflammation, and itchiness. 

Make sure to have an air purifier available in your tiny home.

Costlier electricity bills

With poor quality and circulation, a tiny house’s indoor air will easily allow dust buildup in the HVAC systems or Air Conditioning (AC) units. And if they do have dust buildup, they will work harder to maintain the required level of heat exchange in your house. What comes next will be a series of repairs or high utility bills. 

4. Mobility inside the house

wooden interiors of a tiny house
Any occupant should be able to move freely inside a tiny house.

Mobility may be the well-known benefit of tiny houses, especially for the elderly who can still take care of themselves. Since all the facilities are near each other and easily accessible, older people won’t need to walk several meters just to relieve themselves. 

However, mobility inside a tiny house might pose safety risks for most people.

For example, if a person injures themselves, and they use a wheelchair, their dwelling needs to have enough space to cater to wheelchair mobility. However, it’s rare for a tiny house to have ramps. 

Another concern is the occupants doing different activities in the house at the same time. What if one person is cooking and another person is fixing something nearby?

They should be able to move freely to avoid bumping into each other. The stairs inside a tiny house shouldn’t be too steep as well to prevent falls and slips. 

The point here is a tiny house should supply adequate mobility for each occupant. You can’t ignore this issue because people’s needs change, and so do the activities in the house.

5. Mold growth 

disgusting mold growth on a white wall.
Long-term exposure to mold growth will worsen underlying upper respiratory diseases.

Mold growth is another crucial safety concern in a tiny house. 

Humid spaces enable the growth of mold. Therefore, any small signs of growth in a poorly ventilated tiny house will blow up to a mold infestation in no time.

Wooden materials are especially notorious breeding grounds for mold. If you notice a rotten wood smell or a musty smell, you might be having a huge mold infestation. You should not dismiss this and identify the source. 

If you find mold, you can instantly get rid of it. You can either use a soap and water solution or bleach to remove mold from a wooden surface. Bleach is a known mold killer.

Mold is dangerous for a number of reasons, just like the following. 

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Asthma 
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Red and itchy eyes

If a person has a compromised immune system or an undiagnosed lung problem, they should be extra careful of living in tiny houses. They are more at risk for complications if they get exposed to mold. 

Conclusion

Do you still think tiny houses are good investments? If you do, then never forget to address these five safety risks we listed. Tiny houses already have a bad rap to the public, so don’t add fuel to the fire by being even more careless with your tiny home

Related Questions 

How do you avoid mold growth in a tiny house? 

To avoid mold growth in a tiny house, make sure to fix any roof leaks immediately. Make it a habit to open the windows and doors frequently if possible to allow better air circulation inside the house. Finally, ensure that you have properly functioning vents. Tiny houses easily get wet inside.

Are tiny houses safe? 

Living one will surely not expose you to fatal conditions. It can also withstand storms and strong winds if it’s properly designed and constructed. However, just like the ones we listed here, you will still encounter major safety issues, and you should be ready to address them. 

All About Tiny Houses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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