Shocking! Side-by-Side Comparison of Living Room Fires: 1970's vs. 2009

One of the most shocking demonstrations of what can happen during a house fire is shown in this Underwriters Laboratories side-by-side comparison of the time it takes for two living rooms to reach flashover. One living room had 1970's era furnishings which were typically made of natural fibers (cotton, hemp, etc...) and hard woods (maple, oak, etc...). The other living room was furnished with items commonly found in 2009 (plastics, synthetics, pine, etc...).

On Monday, March 26th, the Fire Chiefs of Calhoun County met with a team from Fire Safe South Carolina, led by Josh Fulbright, Chief of Community Risk Reduction.

In his presentation, Chief Fulbright asked, "Are children the ones dying in house fires in South Carolina?"

Its a very good question; and most of us would say children are the most vulnerable. Children will typically hide rather than try to escape when they are scared. Their natural curiosity will lead them to "play" with matches or lighters. They want to "see" how things burn.

However, we can train our children to remain calm and escape during a house fire. We can and should teach them to NOT play with fire.

So, while our children are vulnerable they CAN be taught to be less so.

But consider the elderly; do they

  • use a walker or wheelchair?

  • use hearing aids?

  • live alone?

  • live in a mobile home?

  • have non-functioning smoke alarms, carbon-dioxide alarms, or an alarm for the hearing impaired.

The list goes on! Do you see how the elderly are our most vulnerable when it comes to house fires?

The Calhoun County Council on Aging is an excellent resource for Calhoun County's senior citizens.

Others in our county need help too. Here resources that everyone can use:

The American Red Cross, Fire Safe South Carolina, and other organizations offer help as well.

Fire Safe South Carolina's Citizen Services page has a number of helps:

Fire Drill Planner

Smoke Alarms

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Hearing Impaired Smoke Alarms

The greatest resource anyone can have is a caring neighbor!

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