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Modern day furniture contains fire hazards

Furniture set on fire to determine how fast it's burning. (Credit: KFOX14)

When buying furniture, consumers tend to look at the three Cs; color, comfort and cost.

But there's one C that buyers sometimes forget to consider – caution.

KFOX14 took modern day furniture to the Horizon Fire Department to see how fast it burns.

And to determine how unsafe it can be to purchase furniture made out of synthetic microfibers that are petroleum base.

Horizon City Fire Chief, Kris Menendez, said the burn rate of furniture these days compared to the furniture in the 60s are completely different.

"When a fire occurs back in the days you had 15 to 18 minutes to get out of a burning house, now you have an average of about five minutes to get out and that's all because of the material used in today's products," said Menendez.

KFOX14’s Tomas Hoppough took modern day furniture to be burnt at with the Horizon Fire Department.

It took the couch made out of synthetic material only four minutes to be completely engulfed in flames. The experiment was ended early because of how dangerous the fire got, and the fire fighters had to put out the flames.

All the synthetic material made a potential “fire ball” according to Menendez. The material has a plastic and petroleum base which is essentially fuel for the fire.

In 2012, Underwriters Laboratories did a study on modern furniture’s burn rates. It showed that furniture like the one KFOX14 brought, burns six times faster than legacy furniture – furniture made in the mid to late twentieth century with cotton wood and natural fibers.

“With the new products being built, you have less time to get your family out the burning building and call 9-1-1,” Menendez said.

The things you buy could end up costing you more – like your house or your loved ones.

Click on the video to see the experiment.

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