Assemblymember Kansen Chu Introduces Bill to Improve Fire Safety in Manufactured and Mobilehome Communities

Thursday, January 31, 2019

CONTACT: Annie Pham, (916) 319-2025

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – In response to the heartbreaking fires across the state, Assemblymember Kansen Chu (D-San Jose) introduced AB 338, a bill to improve fire safety and language access to emergency preparedness plans in manufactured and mobilehome communities. This bill builds on Assemblymember Chu’s efforts last year on this same issue in the wake of a devastating fire in his Assembly District in San José. That fire took the lives of three community members, two of whom were children.

“In the aftermath of the fires across our state, we continue to experience the destruction and heartache for those we have lost,” said Assemblymember Chu. “In my hometown, a fire in a San José mobilehome park took the lives of three community members, two of whom were young children. I believe we must take every action possible to prevent these tragedies and that’s why I’m introducing AB 338. My bill takes two head-on approaches to prepare in the case of a fire. First, it updates smoke detector requirements to models that ease use for residents. Importantly, the bill also requires park emergency preparedness plans to be multilingual to ensure all park residents can understand these life-saving tips and emergency preparedness instructions. Together, these measures will save lives.”

Assemblymember Kansen Chu is collaborating with the City of San José and the Golden State Manufactured-home Owners League in this effort.

“The National Fire Protection Association reports that three in every five home-fire deaths result from fires in homes where smoke alarms are not installed or not working,” said Robert Sapien, Jr., Fire Chief for the San José Fire Department. “In San José, our goal is zero home-fire deaths. To achieve this, we need to ensure that every home is equipped with smoke alarms to provide early warning of a fire so that our residents have time to escape.”

“Mindful of the potential and actual dangers which fire poses for mobilehome owners, as proven by recent events, the Golden State Mobilehome Owners League, Inc. (GSMOL) announces its enthusiastic support for AB 338 (Chu), and supports all elements of the bill as they relate to assistance and protection for mobilehome owners in connection with fire, earthquake, and other emergencies,” said Michelle Smith, State President of Golden State Manufactured-home Owners League. “We especially endorse the need to make Emergency Preparedness Plans available in other languages according to the demographics of the park population, so that all homeowners can read and understand the Plan regardless of their ethnicity. We consider this bill to be a top health and safety priority for our state-wide membership in 2019.”

Assemblymember Kansen Chu is proud to represent the 25th Assembly District, comprised of the cities of Fremont, Milpitas, Newark, Santa Clara and San Jose.

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