- House fires took up to 30 minutes to engulf rooms in the past
- Rooms in modern houses can be engulfed in as little as 3 minutes
- Fire sprinklers could help increase the chance of escape for residents
- Those in home construction industry are opposed to requiring these sprinklers in all new houses
Over the past decades, many improvements have been made to consumer products to increase public safety for those who use them. What many Missouri and Illinois residents may not realize, however, is that this does not hold true when it comes to fire safety related to modern homes and furnishings. One fire expert recently spoke out about just how dangerous the risk of fires spreading rapidly in modern homes can be. Whereas in the past, it may have taken up to a half-hour for fire to fully engulf a room, these days the “flash point” of a room with modern furnishings can be reached in just over three minutes.
Considering that the average response times for emergency personnel across the country is 4 to 5 minutes, that leaves very little time for a home’s occupants to reach safety. In addition to the increased flammability of many modern furnishings that are manufactured with petroleum, newer homes also tend to have much more lightweight materials used in construction and open floor plans that make it easier for fire to spread more rapidly. This is especially concerning when one realizes that fires tend to burn up to 10 times faster than in decades past.
That same fire expert—the fire chief in Cape Girardeau, Missouri—says that there’s actually one major solution to this problem. That 100-year-old solution is the use of fire sprinklers. Unfortunately, while these have been around for a century, they are mostly used only in apartment and commercial buildings and not residential houses. In fact, the home-building industry has been opposing any legislation that would make it mandatory to install fire sprinklers in new homes that are built. They apparently cite “economics” as the major reason for their opposition to this safety standard that could save many lives.
Some seem to believe that Americans don’t want the government making more safety rules to govern what people must do. However, others believe that the chance to save more American lives is invaluable. One fire marshal reports that approximately 3,000 people die in U.S. home fires each year. This is actually equal to the amount of individuals who lose their lives in 9/11, a sobering statistic.
Those who have suffered serious injuries or lost loved ones in a fire or explosion may be able to seek financial recovery to help alleviate their monetary suffering as they recover physically and emotionally. Both Missouri and Illinois laws provide for the seeking of personal injury and wrongful death claims in civil court. Our St. Louis fire and explosion law firm can be reached toll-free at 1-888-586-7041 in order to schedule a free initial consultation. We are experienced in representing clients who have fallen victim to inadequate fire safety precautions due to the negligence of others, and we would be proud to help you seek the economic recovery that can help your family as you recover from your injuries or loss.
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