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Posted: Wednesday, 18 September 2013 6:20AM

Study: A room will be totally engulfed in flames in 3 minutes

Even though safety has increased in almost every area of our lives over the past 50 years, getting out of the house alive during a fire is not one of them.  A new study compared today's home to one from the past and found a shocking difference.

Underwriter's Laboratories, a safety testing organization, has been burning both modern and old rooms in their new video.

Once a fire starts, it's only 3 minutes until the entire room is now engulfed in flames.  "When a smoke alarm goes off, you only have about 60 seconds to safely stand up and quickly get out of a home," says  Louisiana State Fire Marshall Butch Browning.

The other major difference in modern homes he says is the deadly smoke these fires produce quickly.  "The toxic vapors that come out of these things, they're lethal, one or two breaths and people are dying."

The good news?  There are far fewer fires today than ever before.  "We absolutely are having less fires.  People are more conscientious at preventing fires.  But when the fires do start, the type of the materials that are there will precipitate a very fast burning fire."

Browning is hopeful technology will soon help, and he'd like to see automatic sprinklers become the standard in homes soon.

Click here for more from UL and a video of the burning rooms.

Photo Credit: Underwriters Laboratories

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