Video shows devastating speed of house fire

House fire.
House fire.
  • A house fire can take hold in less time than it takes to make a cup of tea, study finds
  • Over 3.3 million homes in Britain don’t have working smoke alarms
  • Unique ‘smoke alarm boutique’ emphasises the lifesaving importance of smoke alarms

Having a nice cup of tea: it’s a national pastime enjoyed by millions of households every single day.

But few people know that in less than half the time it takes to boil the kettle and brew a perfect cuppa, a fire can take hold in a room, devastating a home, destroying treasured possessions and in the worst possible cases, taking lives.

The comparative speed at which a fire can spread through the average home is just one of many shocking findings in a new fire safety study released today by insurers MORE TH>N to encourage better fire safety at home.

Given the life-threatening pace at which a fire can spread across a room, shockingly one in every eight (13 percent) of households in Britain doesn’t have a working smoke alarm installed.

That’s the equivalent of 3.3 million households across the country at risk of having no warning in the event of a fire breaking out in their homes.

To bring to life the ferocious velocity at which a fire can devastate a room, and emphasise the lifesaving importance of smoke alarms, MORE TH>N opened Britain’s first 4D, multi-sensory smoke alarm boutique - using state of the art projection mapping technology to create a very unexpected fiery surprise inside.

As customers browse around the boutique’s trendy home wares and furniture, a terrifying blaze suddenly envelops the boutique’s environment, giving it the lifelike appearance and sounds of a charred, twisted and fire-ravaged interior.

Commenting on the experience James Ward, a MORE TH>N Personal Project Manager, said: “Anybody that believes a fire takes time to spread through a house is sadly mistaken. A fire has the potential to envelop your entire living room or kitchen in less time than it takes to make a cup of tea.

“Up until now, if you hadn’t experienced a house fire first-hand you could only really comprehend its destructive force through videos or photographs. With the smoke alarm boutique, however, we’re able to create the quite terrifying illusion that you’re witnessing the effects of a house fire with your own eyes, but without ever being in any actual danger. Hopefully it will make people realise the incredible importance of a smoke alarm and basic fire safety.”

Smoke Alarming

Further worrying findings from the fire study, conducted by MORE TH>N with 2,000 British homeowners and through Freedom of Information requests with 30 regional Fire and Rescue authorities across England, Scotland and Wales, showed:

- One in eight (12.5 percent) British households have experienced a house fire in their lives. This is the equivalent of 3,263,199 households;

- Of those, almost a third (29 percent) did not have a fully functioning smoke alarm at the time of the fire;

- 16 percent of those without a working smoke alarm admitted they deliberately removed the batteries because the devices were “annoying” and “kept going off during cooking”;

- 13 percent of households have not checked their smoke alarm for at least six months;

- 14 percent haven’t checked their smoke alarm for a year; and

- 5 percent have never checked their smoke alarm to see if it is working.

James Ward added: “We would urge every household in Britain to make sure they have a fully working set of smoke alarms and that they check these regularly. Working smoke alarms save lives, and can give you the essential warning to help save your life, the lives of loved ones and your material possessions.”