Why Homes Burn Faster Than They Used To

Why Homes Burn Faster Than They Used To
According to the most recent data from the U.S. Fire Administration, there were more than 1.3 million residential fires annually over the past three years. In addition, fire-related deaths are 10 percent higher than they were in 1980. There’s no question that homes are burning faster than they used to, but why?
Contributing Factors to Faster Burning Homes
Outlined below are several contributing factors as to why today’s homes are burning at a faster rate:

Modern Construction Materials Burn Faster
The building materials used to construct today’s homes are much more complex than lumber, drywall, and roofing. Instead, some of the more modern construction materials that are being used to build homes in recent decades include synthetic polymers, vinyl siding, and softer woods, such as spruce, pine, and fir. While there are advantages to using these materials, they have a tendency to ignite more easily and burn faster in a fire.

Today’s Furniture is More Flammable
Surprisingly, many of the furnishings used in homes today are made with more flammable materials than in years past. While much of the upholstered furniture used to be flame-retardant, there has been a shift in the marketplace in recent years away from retardant-free furniture. Many consumers became concerned about the chemicals that their furniture contained to make it flame-retardant and no longer wanted these items in their home. On the downside, this movement away from using flame retardants in furniture makes today’s furniture more flammable.

Ingredients in Household Cleaning Products
Homeowners need to consider their arsenal of cleaning products that tend to accumulate under kitchen sinks and in laundry rooms and garages. These household cleaning products typically contain chemicals that can be a source of risk during a fire. Depending on the chemicals, they could contribute to a faster burning house fire.

All in all, with today’s homes burning at a faster rate than in prior years, it’s imperative that insurance carriers address fire risk with insureds when completing an in-person insurance inspection. Some potential fire hazards around the home that should be addressed in an insurance inspection include the age and functionality of smoke alarms, chimneys, dryer vents, and electrical outlets.

Insurance Risk Services partners with insurance carriers to complete thorough, in-person insurance inspections. When completing a property inspection, our experienced and knowledgeable professionals often have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with insureds to educate them about potential insurance risks around the property, including fire risk.

Contact us at Insurance Risk Services to learn how you can use an insurance inspection to help insureds mitigate fire risk.