Yes, you read that right, a new home fire is much faster burning than an old one.
Home fire escape times are 10x less than 30 years ago, the link @ bottom shows why.
Not only does newer furniture and “manufactured” building materials release INCREDIBLY toxic byproducts during a home fire, they burn WAY hotter and faster than ever. That is definitely a safety concern! In the video (linked @ bottom), as the first fire burns watch the thick, black smoke coming off of the “synthetic” materials. Then, look at the smoke on the same items in the second burn (with the older, wood and “natural fibre” products).
Also noteworthy; the reporter (in the video) states that newer homes are built “better” and “safer”. However, he doesn’t mention that it is only when they are NOT burning! He doesn’t mention the toxicity either. Ever notice that many of the things we purchase nowadays say to unwrap them and let them “off-gas” before using? Some things don’t mention it, but if you smell something “off” that is exactly what it is doing. Letting off gas, usually not good gas (as if there is any).
Most building material manufacturers and building codes adhere to a “Minimum Code” at the very least. Minimum code is just that, MINIMUM. Corporate marketing and profits should have higher priority than consumer safety. Manufacturers should be forced to make their products safer instead of faster and cheaper.
New Construction & Fire
As a home fire (in new construction) develops, the heat created breaks down the bond between the adhesives and wood (in plywood, particle board/OSB, laminated joists/beams etc), which causes them to FAIL, much more quickly than older, solid wood construction.
Roof trusses are generally a combination of separate pieces of small lumber with thin, steel gusset plates “stamped” on the joints. Due to their construction, they can fail in no time without actually burning!
Merely enough heat to slightly char the wood will allow the plates to fall off, and the entire support system crumbles. “Flash-over” happens when it’s so hot that everything combusts simultaneously. That’s just over 2.5 minutes in the “modern” room, but 30 minutes in the “antique” room!!
This is dangerous for anyone in the building, including firefighters who may need to enter for any reason.
Scary stuff – but definitely something to consider when designing/building and decorating.