This Fire Prevention Month, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Reminds People How Little Time They Have to Escape in a Fire, Shares Life-Saving Fire Safety Tips

New video demonstrates that three minutes or less is all people have to escape a fire

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is raising awareness about how quickly fire spreads in today’s home environment to educate area residents about the importance of getting out quickly and safely in the event of a house fire.

UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) released a video ahead of National Fire Prevention Month demonstrating the remarkable speed at which fires spread and engulf rooms in toxic levels of smoke – three minutes or less. In partnership with UL FSRI, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is encouraging everyone to take three life-saving steps to protect themselves and their families.

  • Have working smoke alarms on every floor of your home, including in and outside every sleeping area. Check your smoke alarms monthly and replace them every 10 years. Smoke alarms give you and your loved ones the earliest warning possible that there is a fire.
  • Have an escape plan and practice it; know two ways to get out if there is a fire. If there is smoke blocking the door or first way out, use your second way out. Also, if your first way out is blocked get a closed door between you and the fire to buy time to use your second way out, especially if that requires escaping out a window.
  • Close Before You Doze®. A closed door can be an effective barrier against deadly levels of carbon monoxide, smoke and flames, and may give you more time to respond to the smoke alarm. In fact, there can be a 900-degree difference in room temperature between a room with an open door and one with a closed door, with the open-door room reaching temperatures of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit or more. In 2018, UL FSRI released its “Dramatic Difference” video demonstrating this comparison.

The home fire environment has changed in recent years, dramatically decreasing the amount of time people have to escape before rooms become unsurvivable. We hope this video helps people understand just how little time they have to escape a home fire while encouraging fire safety this October for Fire Prevention Month and year-round.

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For Firefighters – New Comparison of Natural and Synthetic Home Furnishings Video Available

In 2020, the UL FSRI team captured a new side-by-side burn comparison of natural vs. synthetic furnished rooms. Since the original comparison video was shared in 2009, UL FSRI has repeated the same experiment several times with similar results in terms of flashover times between the natural and synthetic furnished rooms. The flashover data from those experiments has been incorporated into this new video that has been captured in much crisper detail than its predecessor thanks to vast video technology enhancements.