Protecting what's important: 3 minutes to escape

This is part one of a series of facts and scenarios that can help you understand the risks you may be taking in your daily life so you can protect those you love, the things you’ve worked hard for, and the security you’ve built for your family.

3 minutes to escape

Picture your home on fire. How much time do you have to get out?

fire 3 minutesThirty years ago, you and your family would’ve had roughly 17 minutes. Today you may only have three or four. The reason? Modern homes are fueling faster fires and producing smoke that is more lethal than three decades ago.

  • Larger homes with open floor plans allow fires to spread with fewer barriers. The open spaces accelerate fires by allowing for faster airflow and more oxygen.
  • Homes have more synthetic materials than they did thirty years ago. Newer furniture, carpet, and clothing contain fast-burning substances.
  • The oils and derivatives from common synthetics, such as polyurethane and reconstituted soda bottles, produce toxins such as hydrogen cyanide, phosgene, and carbon monoxide. The National Fire Protection Association says most fatalities from fire are caused by smoke inhalation, not burns.

Preventative measures, starting with a working smoke alarm and a well-rehearsed escape plan, will maximize every second and can be the difference between life and death.

And be sure you have enough insurance coverage to replace your home and personal belongings. A Member Benefits personal insurance consultant can help you evaluate your current coverage and calculate replacement cost to make sure your biggest investment is protected.

Call 1-800-279-4010 or visit for a free insurance consultation.

>>Protecting what's important: True story

You may also be interested in this TODAY show video, "Newer homes and furniture burn faster, giving you less time to escape a fire."

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal, financial, or tax advice. Certain recommendations or guidelines may not be appropriate for everyone. Consult your personal advisor or attorney for advice specific to your unique circumstances before taking action. Property and casualty insurance programs are underwritten by WEA Property & Casualty Insurance Company. The terms and conditions of your coverage are exclusively controlled by your written policy. Please refer to your policy for details. Certain policy exclusions and limitations may apply.

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