Underwriters Laboratories expert says US fire deaths are increasing with changing design and content of homes. Steve Kerber, VP Research at UL and Director of the UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute, shares research that shows that fire remains an important problem with US fire services responding to nearly 1.3 million fires (2019), 3 700 fire deaths, 16 600 injuries and nearly 15 billion US$ property damage. The number of home structure fires has not decreased significantly since 2000 and the number of home fire deaths is trending upwards over the last decade. Home fire dangers are increasing with factors such as home design (bigger homes, open floor plan and open staircases, high ceilings) and with increasing fire load and synthetic materials (leading to faster flashover). He concludes that fire is an evolving challenge demanding evolving interventions.
Steve Kerber, UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute https://fsri.org/steve-kerber
Video comparison, fire behaviour of natural and synthetic home furnishings (FSRI) https://vimeo.com/463653907
Video “Close Before You Doze – See the Dramatic Difference a Door Can Make” (FSRI) https://vimeo.com/293952932 (photo)
“Turning to science for life-safety solutions”, S. Kerber, Life Safety Digest, Fall 2021 (page 22) https://lsc-pagepro.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?i=723042&ver=html5&p=24
“Analysis of Changing Residential Fire Dynamics and Its Implications on Firefighter Operational Timeframes”, S. Kerber, Fire Technology, 48, 865–891, 2012 DOI: 10.1007/s10694-011-0249-2