Decorations could make your home burn faster - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Decorations could make your home burn faster

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - According to research by Worcester Polytechnic Institute, it can take less than 3 minutes for a room to go up in flames. They should know.  They set fire to a 12 by 16 room, fully furnished with everything from carpet to a couch.  Just like one you might have in your home.  The room went up in flames quickly. In fact, researchers say the flames spread faster than they would have 30 years ago, and they blame our stuff.

"Everything in there can burn," said Eric Simmons, with the Jonesboro Fire Department.   

We fill our houses with things to make it feel like home, but researchers say today's homes burn faster than 30 year ago. 

Why?

Researchers say because of what and how much we have inside them.

"The materials they make everything out of, used to you had real wood, they used cotton to cover everything up.   Now, we're using synthetics, plastics, all of these things burn.   They let off more gases and so it burns a little faster and hotter than it used to," said Simmons.

Researchers also say homes these days are built bigger, more open spaces, and with more air circulation. It's oxygen fires thrive on. JFD's Eric Simmons says you need to be prepared.

"Smoke detectors are going to tell you if there is smoke in the house. Carbon monoxide detectors will let you know when the carbon monoxide levels get high enough so we can get out there as quick as possible," said Simmons.   

Simmons says that's not all. 

"When your house is full of smoke, it gets dark.   You can't see," said Simmons.

He says arm your family with an evacuation plan.  If possible, identify two ways out of each room in the event of a fire.  If it's a window for example, make sure it can be opened.

"So all of these things you want to think about now before you have something at 3 O clock in the morning.   If you practice that, then you know where you're going and which way to go if it's blocked," said Simmons.

Researchers say it can take less than 3 minutes for an entire room to catch on fire. Simmons says the city's 7 fire stations are located where they are to ideally reach everyone in their districts within 3 to 4 minutes.

"We want to get their as fast as possible, 3 to 4 minutes.   Get in there and get the fire completely out," said Simmons.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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