How Quickly Can a Home Fire Spread?

Too often, people who are in a house fire don’t realize how fast a home fire can spread. They think they have time to gather precious belongings and fail to exit the home as quickly as they should. They don’t realize a few seconds can mean the difference between life and death. For your safety and the safety of your family, consider the following reasons to escape a fire quickly.

You have less than 5 minutes

A minute and a half it not a lot of time to escape a burning home. Keep in mind the following timeline of a 2-story house fire in San Francisco, CA:

  • 30 seconds: The fire starts and grows quickly.
  • 60 seconds: The fire spreads, and the room fills with smoke.
  • 95 seconds: The temperature reaches 190°F and a layer of smoke masks surroundings.
  • 1 minute, 50 seconds: The smoke detector goes off.
  • 2 minutes, 30 seconds: The temperature near the fire reaches more than 400° In just a few seconds, smoke will start to pour from the original room into other parts of the home.
  • 3 minutes: The temperature near the fire reaches over 500°F, which is too hot for any human to survive.
  • 3 minutes, 20 seconds: The upstairs fills with smoke, making escape extremely challenging.
  • 3 minutes, 40 seconds: Everything in the room where the fire began experiences a “flashover.” The surroundings fully ignite and the temperature exceeds 1,400°
  • 4 minutes, 30 seconds: The exterior of the home is engulfed by flames. Rescue is impossible.

Modern Homes Burn Faster

Homeowners often have a false sense of security about their safety during a fire. They assume they will have plenty of time to leave the burning house. Thirty years ago, this was more accurate. At that time, you had around 15 minutes to escape. However, homes have changed. Now, you have three to five minutes to escape a burning home.

The fact is, modern homes burn up to eight times faster than homes used to, producing up to 200% more smoke. More plastics and petroleum-based products are found in homes today. Open floor plans and high ceilings also contribute to the danger. The construction and materials found in homes simply burn hotter and faster, making it harder to safely exit the burning home in time to reach safety.

Even if you live in an older home, your time to escape is still brief. The decorations, furniture and other belongings you’ve placed in the home burn more quickly and generate more heat than older products. It’s essential that you exit the home as quickly as possible, due to how fast a home fire can spread in San Francisco, CA.

Improve Your Home’s Safety

Make sure your home is safe. Partner with the experts at Great Escape Fire Escape Service. We specialize in fire escape inspections, repair, replacement, and certification. If safety and satisfaction are what you’re looking for, look no further. Our trained professionals are ready to answer your questions and help you take steps to keep your home and family safe. Reach us today at 415-566-1479.

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