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Controlled fire demonstration shows why house fires are more dangerous now than in the 80s

Posted at 6:19 PM, Oct 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-10 20:29:10-04

MAGNA, Utah — In honor of Unified Fire Authority fire prevention week, firefighters staged a live burn today to show people around the state how it only takes minutes for your home to become fully engulfed in flames.

Ryan Love, Public Information Officer with Unified Fire Authority told Fox13 that a new study by the National Fire Protection Association found that if you’re caught in a structure fire today, you are more than likely to die than in the 1980s.

Two big reasons: The size of homes people are building and the synthetic, plastic materials their homes are being furnished with.

“These products, they’re saying, they are eight times more explosive or contain more potential energy than these legacy fuels, these woods, cotton and wools we used to furnish our homes with a few decades ago,” Love said.

This reality is pushing firefighters to educate people, especially with the holidays around the corner. Love said the one of the things the National Fire Protection Association wants to teach is the three L's: look, listen and learn.

"They want you to look around your house to see if there is anything that could potentially cause a fire. They want you to listen to your audible alarms, your smoke detectors that are in your rooms, and they want you to learn two ways out of the structure,” Love said.

During Wednesday’s fire burn demonstration, media members were educated about firefighter nomex suits, how hot compartmentalized fires can get and even asked to gear up and help put out the fire.

If you’d like see video of that or would like to learn more about what you can do to protect yourself during a fire, watch the news story above, and check out Unified Fire Authority's safety tips here.