Firefighters stress importance of developing home escape plan

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Older homes have withstood the test of time and they also provide residents more time to escape from a fire.

A demonstration performed by Underwriter's Laboratories shows that Americans have a fraction of the time to get out of a burning home than they would have had 40 years ago.

"A legacy home would have a more compartmentalized layout, you would've had a door on every room. Your home furnishings, your floor coverings, your window treatments, they were made of legacy materials which means more organic, more common materials like cotton, wool, those sort of fibers," said Bismarck Fire Marshal Owen Fitzsimmons.

Modern furnishings are made from petro-chemical based materials, plastics and foams.

"Those materials, they burn faster, they burn hotter, they give off a far more toxic mix of gasses and smoke, and when you combine that with a modern open floor plan of a home and you have that potential for that fire and those gasses to spread faster throughout the home," said Fitzsimmons.

Bismarck firefighters highlight the importance of developing and practicing an escape plan so that a family can escape their home in a limited amount of time.

​Firefighters will be visiting classrooms throughout Oct. 6-12 to teach children about what needs to be in their families' escape plan.