Protect your family from house fires this summer

Protect your family from house fires this summer

According to recent Underwriter¹s Laboratory research, a house fire can become deadly in less than 3 minutes, well before the fire department has a chance to respond.  Modern homes are designed with larger rooms and open floor plans made possible with lightweight construction techniques. Under normal circumstances, these materials perform well. However, in a fire, UL testing shows they can fail sooner and collapse without warning. They're built airtight to be energy efficient. In a home fire, though, this seals in heat, causing temperatures to rapidly escalate to un-survivable levels. And, synthetic materials in modern furnishings burn rapidly, giving off toxic smoke and choking fumes.

Ron Hazelton is well-known to viewers as the longtime host of TV's The House Doctor and Ron Hazelton's House Calls, as well as Good Morning America, where he reported on topics related to home improvement, safety, health, repair and design.  A longtime safety advocate, Hazelton is spokesperson for the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC), a non-profit fire safety organization whose board includes FEMA, the Int'l. Assoc. of Fire Chiefs, Nat'l. Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Nat'l. Fire Protection Assoc., Nat'l Assoc. of State Fire Marshals, Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, Underwriters Laboratories and more.

Underwriters Laboratories released the results of a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), also funded by FEMA, supporting today's building codes that require homes be fitted with fire sprinklers to stop fires before they become deadly.

Whether viewers are considering buying a new home, or making their present home safer by retrofitting such a system ­a home fire sprinkler system can prevent their houses and their lives ­ from going up in smoke.

According to a recent five-year study by the National Fire Protection Association, seven people died in U.S. home fires every single day. Firefighters respond to 2 million fires a year. About one in every 310 households had a reported home fire. Each year, home fires cause an average of 2,650 deaths, 12,890 injuries, and $7.1 billion in direct property damage.

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