Did You Know?
NEWER HOMES & FURNITURE BURN HOTTER AND FASTER, GIVING YOU LESS TIME TO ESCAPE!
30 years ago, you would have 17 minutes to escape a house fire.
Today, you have just 3 to 4 minutes!
Scientific and lab studies through Underwriters Laboratories (UL) have proven that this is caused by new, lightweight and cheaper building materials used in modern construction within the last the 30 years. It's also because of synthetic materials used in modern home furnishings, like carpeting, curtains, pillows, bedding and furniture (just to name a few) along with composites and plastics found throughout today's homes. This is where the old saying, "they don't build them like they used to..." has never been more evident. North Hampton consists of 1,930 residential homes. Of these structures, over 35% of these homes have been built in the last 30 years, which classifies them to be "new construction" homes.
When these "new construction" or modern buildings burn, structurally they burn faster and hotter, which means they fail more quickly - to "fail" means the structure will collapse. Under heavy fire conditions, these buildings can completely collapse in just 15 minutes when totally involved in fire. To prevent total fire involvement, a rapid response from the fire department is critical for properties to be saved.
Additionally, since these new homes are furnished with modern-made furnishings, these contents also burn faster and hotter, giving off toxic gasses and smoke, which means occupants are more susceptible to poisonous exposure and quick suffocation, resulting in death. Aside from the deadly gas carbon monoxide, one of the most lethal gasses found in this smoke from modern fires, is hydrogen cyanide. This smoke can cause death within minutes if you are trapped,unable to escape and exposed to this smoke.
What does this mean? If you have a fire in your home, factoring in theburning of materials used in new construction along withthe furnishings made of synthetics, means that these fires grow at a very rapid rate. In fact, because of these new materials used throughout homes, fires now double in size every minute, giving you less time to escapethese modern-day fires.Equally as scary, older homes aren't necessarily exempt of this frightening statistic either, as most older and historic homes have new, modern-made furnishings throughout. These older homes may stand longer under heavy fire conditions, but fires that start small withinthe interior roomsgrow and expand faster,burn hotter, and still give off the same poisonous gasses, leaving you few minutes to escape.
Indeed, these statistics are scary - but it's the unfortunate truth. The need to have the fire department there within minutes is crucial for a positive outcome for both survival of life and the protection of your property.The fortunate truth is, because North Hampton Fire & Rescue's average response time is 3 to 4 minutes, means that your life and property are well protected - should you ever become trapped in a fire, the department is able to immediately respond and arrive within minutes, and provide you with expert protection and rescue capabilities. Because of our quick response and current staffing levels, the department has been able to respond to many alarms of fire, and quickly extinguish these fires before spreading out of control, thus preventing further property damage and major losses to homes.
Fortunately, due to building codes, fire codes and fire prevention initiatives, smoke detectors and fire alarm systems are in place in the majority of homes. This first line of defense will alert occupants of fire to allow them to escape and call 9-1-1.Typically, these 9-1-1 calls are made to the department when fires are small, but fires do spread rapidly. On numerous occasions,the department has responded to many alarms for fires, both inside and outside of residential homes. Our rapid responses,combined with highly trained professionals,have allowed us to arrive just in time to extinguish these fires before significant fire spread contributed to big property losses and prevented major structure firesbut moreimportantly, prevented the loss of life.
Home fires today are more dangerous than ever, for both citizens and firefighters. These fires are being classified and treated by fire departments nationwide as "hazardous materials incidents" due to the numerous chemicals involved that expose firefighters. Firefighters today are more susceptible to cancers than ever before, many nationwide are battling cancer and numerous have died. Locally, in Rockingham County, in just the last 5 years, local departments have experienced 8 firefighter job-related cancers, 4 of which died from the disease, leaving their spouses and children behind - firefighters whom we knew personally. Firefighters are now being decontaminated after exiting these fires to protect their health, a practice never thought of in years past.
Times have changed. To keep up with these changes, professional and progressive fire departments like North Hampton Fire & Rescue, have made improvements in understanding these modern fires, are taking steps to educate the public of the dangers and have made modifications to our training and operations. North Hampton Fire & Rescue members remain at the ready to protect you and loved ones at a second's notice. Please contact us should you have any questions or concerns about these fire concerns or anything that we can do for you. Call Deputy Fire Chief Jason Lajoie at 964-5500 or stop in any time!
For more information, watch this link from, The Today Show