More open floor plans mean that fire is not as quickly contained. More synthetic materials and personal electronics literally add fuel to the fire. Today a home fire can become out of control in less than three minutes. New materials have also caused smoke in a modern fire to be fundamentally different and more toxic than smoke 50 years ago.2

Better-sealed building envelopes are great for energy efficiency but can create a vacuum and a dangerous rush of oxygen once a window is broken or a door is opened in a fire. Highly engineered woods may be lighter and more environmentally friendly, but they also may collapse faster and with less warning.3

With these conditions, it’s more important than ever to take safety precautions and have a plan in place for yourself and your family.

For more than a century, UL has advanced fire safety. We work with manufacturers, authorities, building and construction professionals, and the firefighter community to help address emerging fire risks. From working with firefighters to develop operational techniques and training to helping facilitate product innovation and safeguarding products, UL continues to develop new and important ways to make the world safer.

  1. “UL New Science Fire Safety Journal 1,” 2012. Web: 9 May 2013.
  2. "New Science Fire Safety Journal Issue 1"
  3. Kerber, S., et al., “Improving Fire Safety by Understanding the Fire Performance of Engineered Floor Systems and Providing the Fire Service with Information for Tactical Decision Making,” 2009 NIST AARA Compilation Report by UL, March 2012.