The Golden Minute – Running out of a burning house!

Multiple movies about fire disaster have been made around the world. Films like “Backdraft” and “Ladder 49” shows us scene after scene on how fires can quickly spread and engulf everything in its path and more. As we see people flee from the scene of fire, there are selected few, our most respected fireman, which goes the other way to fight the fires and save lives.


Fire accidents happen, and as the word accident comes, you never know when it will happen and people’s first reaction when they see one should be to run for their life and not worry about their belongings as one’s life should be the foremost worry. Our article Escaping from a fire discuss about the best way to escape. However, a question beckon to be answered, when a fire starts, how much time do we really have to safely escape, is it a minute, two minutes or five minutes? How much time do we really have before flames engulf the surroundings? We answer these questions by observing a simulation fire experiment.


A mock household was created out of multiple containers with a front and back door, stairs and corridors and various pieces of furniture or furnishings, to best simulate what the inside of a house would be like. Then a fire was lit up using paper and cardboard to simulate a potential household fire. As soon as the fire was lit, cameras could capture flames and smoke bellowing out not long after.


simulation household fire

Heat, flame and smoke rises and this gives people a small window of time to escape, but how long is this window? When the fire was lit, after 15 seconds, the top can be seen, but 40 seconds in, the entire top is already engulfed in smoke and heat and approximately a minute in, the walls disappear also and not long after that, the camera blacks out. Three minutes after the fire was lit, fully equipped firemen start to move into the fire scene from 30 meters out but by the time they were one third of the way in, there were already walking into smoke that were coming out of the mock container household. Just imagine what it would be like in an actual fire and you are escaping, it would be all dark because power would likely have been cut from short circuits due to fire and smoke blocking out lights.


In conclusion from the observation, when facing a fire accident, it is normal and basic instinct to be scared but if you can get out in the first minute, you chance of escape is pretty much safe. Therefore the Golden Minute is the small window of time to get out. You should not be worried about your belongings and definitely should never run back. The correct thing to do is be prepared and have your valuables and important belongings stored in a fireproof safe. Guarda’s additional waterproof function can also help against possible water damage during a fire fight as well. So be prepared and protect what matters most.

Post time: Oct-13-2021