Escape time during house fire: Natural vs. synthetic materials

Natural versus synthetic materials
Published: Jul. 2, 2018 at 11:45 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 11, 2018 at 11:14 AM CDT
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JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - Homes have changed in many ways over the years whether it's the look and design of the home, or the materials used outside and inside.

A home built several years ago contained more natural products like wood, cotton and wool.

"Modern fuels are made out of all synthetics where they use a lot of glue and petroleum and plastics and foam to make products and the rate of spread is so much greater," Captain Robert Greif with Jackson Fire Rescue said. "Today we need to focus on families learning how to get out of their house quicker and practice more often. Most people don't think about it until it happens, and they're usually so startled, they don't think at all. and usually, most of the decisions are bad decisions."

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Greif also suggested talking with your family about escape plans at other locations, like a friend or grandparents' house.

Watch the video below made by UL LLC which shows the difference between natural and synthetic materials.

"This video gives us a comparison and allows us to use it for training to show people how things change rapidly," Greif said. "The environment can change so suddenly. On one half of the video, you're watching the room has very little smoke and you have great visibility that you can still escape. Along with the less smoke, you also have less heat, so there is a human threshold. At 195 degree temperature, your lungs can only take it for one minute. So when you look at the modern fuels, your hitting 1800 degrees in about three minutes, which is way beyond the human life threshold."

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