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Thirty years ago, a family had about seventeen minutes to evacuate from a house fire. According to Underwriters Laboratories (UL), families now have a mere 3-4 minutes to evacuate their home. Many organizations are working to identify why house fires are burning at an alarming rate. One of the main findings shows that synthetic and natural materials found in your home furnishings contribute to how quickly a residential fire burns.

Identifying Household Furnishings and Materials

Using synthetic materials has grown rapidly in popularity over the years. These materials are cheaper to use when manufacturing furnishings, and therefore cost much less to purchase at local big box stores. How many items in your home are from Ikea, Walmart, or Overstock? Look at your couch, rugs, floors, and tables. How many are made of natural materials from those same stores? So, what’s the big deal?

Many affordable furnishings consist of polyester fabric/fill, polyurethane foam, engineered wood, vinyl laminate, etc. These synthetic furnishings burn at a faster rate than contents made of natural materials, like wood, cotton, blended materials, glass, etc. In a side-by-side video demonstration, the UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute shows the comparison between two rooms as they begin to burn. The synthetic-filled living room was completely engulfed in flames by the five-minute mark. The room with the natural materials still had most of the flame focused on one end of the sofa. For clarification, the sofa was made with cotton padding and natural wood.

Steps to Protect Your Family and Home

First, look throughout your home. Are you willing to change the way you furnish your rooms? How much of your home will need restoration services? Above all, always have a plan in case of emergencies and practice fire drills with everyone in the household. These 3-4 minutes can change everything!

If you or your loved ones experience the devastating effects of a house fire, Phoenix Restoration is ready to help you restore and rebuild. Call 402-964-2232 or send us a message today.