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What you don't know about Fire in your home from the UL Fire Safety Research Institute
Episode 143619th November 2022 • Around the House® Home Improvement • Eric Goranson
00:00:00 00:55:42

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We sit down with Steve Kerber,  Vice President and Executive Director of UL's Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI). He leads a fire safety research team dedicated to addressing the worlds unresolved fire safety risks and emerging dangers to reduce death, injury and loss from fire. Steve has led research in the areas of fire safety engineering, firefighter safety, fire forensics, and fire science. We talk about the risks of the new products used in residential construction and what new materials are making your house less safe due to fire and other risks. We talk about the risks of our firefighters and how residential construction and what you do inside your home can change your chance of survival in a house fire. For more information head to https://closeyourdoor.org/

For more information about FSRI: https://fsri.org/

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Transcripts

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[00:00:22] Eric Goranson: There that is already a problem.

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[00:00:43] Steve Kerber: And, uh, in many cases it's just not there anymore. And it's tough because nobody thinks a fire's gonna happen to them. So when you don't think you're gonna have a fire, These conversations don't come up when it comes to remodeling and renovating your home. There is a lot to know, but [00:01:00] we've got you covered.

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[00:01:03] Eric Goranson: around the house. Welcome to Around the House Show. This is where we talk everything about your home every single week. Thanks for joining us today. We've got a special guest in the studio. This is one I've been looking forward to. We got Steve Kerber, vice President and Executive Director of UL's Fire Safety Research.

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[00:01:47] Eric Goranson: And it, it just seems to be so much that that can be.

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[00:02:10] Steve Kerber: Well

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[00:02:29] Steve Kerber: Yeah, I mean, our community relies on our firefighters as kind of our last line of defense and, and in many ways a lot of stuff has to go wrong for them to be needed, but when they are, I mean, lives are on the line, and we have dedicated, like, I mean for me, it's been the last 20 years of my life doing research to make them safer and smarter as well because they, they can't experience everything themselves.

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[00:03:06] Eric Goranson: I don't know how many times I've seen, you know, when I was a kid, I'm in my fifties now, but fire department roll up. Maybe air packs weren't put on, they're running into the fire.

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[00:03:37] Steve Kerber: Yeah, it's an incredibly complex profession and and I use that profession very broadly because of the million firefighters we have in the United States at 700,000 of 'em or thereabouts are, are volunteer. So these are folks that are, uh, leaving their lives, leaving what they're doing and serving their community for nothing in return.[00:04:00]

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[00:04:30] Steve Kerber: And, uh, in many ways that's not fair. That's not what they're signing up for. So what can we do to limit their exposure? And the bottom line is where we live and where we work is just full of plastics. It's full of synthetics, it's full of all kinds of chemicals, uh, that not only you breathe in, but also that transport through their skin.

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[00:04:58] Eric Goranson: and one thing that I've had too, we had [00:05:00] another firefighter on here, um oh, a couple years ago, and we had a discussion just about building science, about how trust roof systems and floor systems with those stamped metal plates can be such a danger to homeowners and firefighters when you get a fire in that cavity and all of a sudden these cool, cute little metal plates that are pushed in holding all this lumber together start to curl.

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[00:05:29] Steve Kerber: It, it's been a fun evolution. Uh, we study this stuff all the time because in many ways stuff that makes perfect sense for the construction industry, whether it's stronger, lighter, cheaper, all of those things are good. The problem is in many ways, it also from a fire safety perspective can be disastrous.

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[00:06:08] Steve Kerber: We know wood burns. There's less of it. Yeah. Uh, so the burn we've been using, we, we replaced mass with math, which from a construction standpoint is genius. Yeah. Um, we don't have the, uh, Two by 12 dimensional lumber that spans 40 feet like we might have had in the past. We, we cut all those trees down. Yeah.

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[00:06:50] Steve Kerber: So number of firefighters have fallen through floors into basements on fire and, and are no longer with us. And, uh, we've gotta catch up and make sure that [00:07:00] we, that safety's not being compromised in the name of, of cost or something like that. Yeah. You think

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[00:07:14] Eric Goranson: And that's from when the fire started, not from five minutes after the fire department started throwing water on it. So half the time, by the time you guys get there, that is already a problem.

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[00:07:31] Steve Kerber: The, the give me my 20 minutes back. I mean, gi give me my reliable amount of operating time before I have to worry about this building falling on me or me falling through it. And, uh, in many cases it's just not there anymore. And it's tough because nobody thinks a fire's gonna happen to them. So when you don't think you're gonna have a fire, these conversations don't come.

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[00:08:13] Eric Goranson: But there's still power up in that when you guys have to jump up on that roof. It's

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[00:08:31] Steve Kerber: Uh, and then that energy's gotta go somewhere, right? So that's going to energy storage systems, and that might be in the garage or in the basement, which poses new hazards. So yeah, the firefighter's workplace and even our homeowner's living place is constantly evolving. Uh, so we've gotta understand these hazards.

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[00:09:13] Steve Kerber: Uh, however, let's, let's make 'em safe.

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[00:09:32] Eric Goranson: It was the, the chemicals, it was the paints, it was maybe a propane tank, but now you've got batteries that can be their own. Mass and chargers as well. You know that that major sin of a garage, of walking away with that battery charger, going for a weekend or a week when it should just be charged and turned off, that that puts in a whole other risk for firefighters inside a garage, let alone the house.

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[00:10:22] Steve Kerber: And then they're in plastic and the plastic's on wood. I mean, that is a perfect recipe. Should there be a fire to spread that fire? Um, so it's, it's one of those things, I mean, you're smart, you, you turn, you put 'em all on a power strip and you turn that power strip off when you leave the room. I mean, what you're doing there is your.

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[00:11:04] Steve Kerber: Uh, so you've got peace of mind that you don't have a poor quality cell in there that's gonna go into thermal run. Just cuz of manufacturing defect or something like that. Um, but ultimately you don't have full control over that. So it's uh, it's a little bit scary. Yeah.

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[00:11:28] Eric Goranson: Right? The, the little handheld. It could look like a little brick, it could be a little tube. Those things and, and companies will buy them and give them away and, and you know, it's, it's at a fair or a home show or whatever, but usually those are the lowest quality ones that they got off the internet. And I can't tell you how many pieces of carpet that I've seen, how do I fix this question?

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[00:11:59] Steve Kerber: And that's [00:12:00] it. And that's, uh, I mean, we constantly talk about what is the state of the fire problem in the United States and things like that. And I mean, what this brings to mind is, The only the stats that get tracked are when the fire department gets called.

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[00:12:38] Steve Kerber: So it's, uh, it's, it's important. I mean, these new technologies are gonna come with, with new fire problems and yeah, we, we need people to just understand what's going on there. I mean, you're right, these, these tchotchkes that you get from conferences, they're, they're not buying you the, the $50 battery bank.

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[00:13:08] Eric Goranson: be the brand that burns the house down too. it

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[00:13:17] Steve Kerber: Cause yeah, your, your brand recognition might be linked to someone's worst day. Yeah,

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[00:13:36] Eric Goranson: While you're sleeping can be such a big difference. It's crazy. Between that and a battery and a, and a smoke detector or carbon monoxide, some basic things can make a life difference for you in a house fire.

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[00:14:06] Steve Kerber: The fire's fast and fire's gotten faster over the decades because of all the synthetics that we put in our homes. These plastics burn faster, um, and release more energy faster, and people just, I think, make the assumption that fire's been slowing down over time that we've been figuring these things out and cavemen figured out fire.

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[00:14:52] Steve Kerber: I mean, that should blow people's minds. Um, I mean, where they should feel the safest in their home is actually the [00:15:00] least controlled environment we have. Uh, usually where people. There's amazing codes and standards and sprinklers everywhere, and fire doors and exit stairs and, and they do evacuation drill.

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[00:15:34] Steve Kerber: And there's only two states in the United States, Maryland and California that require sprinklers in homes. Um, so everybody else is either gonna have to ask. Uh, and demand it. Or even if they do demand it, they might not be able to get it. So from that point on, it's all right. What do, what do we have control over?

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[00:16:11] Steve Kerber: Um, one is that you want one on every level of the home. And you want them in every bedroom and outside every sleeping area. So what this does is it gives you the greatest chance of being warned if, if I told you, you only have three minutes from when a fire starts until you can safely get outta your house.

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[00:16:54] Steve Kerber: So let's say you're, I don't know where you're at, I dunno if you're in your garage or in your basement, or, I'm in the garage right here. [00:17:00] Yes, you're in the garage and let's say you had a fire in your garage. You don't wanna wait until the smoke gets out of the garage into the house, up to the bedrooms, and then setting off the alarm next to your bedroom.

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[00:17:20] Eric Goranson: fire door, fire sheet rock in there, you've done a pretty good job of keeping it inside that structure, but you also have stopped yourself from knowing about it as.

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[00:17:40] Steve Kerber: Yeah. Uh, we don't want that to happen. We want you to know as fast as possible. So that's really where the interconnected alarms come into play. Um, people also don't realize smoke alarms expire. Yeah. So 10 years. That you need a new, you need a new alarm. Those sensors don't last forever. And I think people don't realize that.

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[00:18:22] Steve Kerber: It's funny,

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[00:18:44] Eric Goranson: Come on. And I knew that she used to work for the fire department and she's like, oh, it'll be fine. And I looked at it and I go, come on, you know better. And I gave her hell for it and she, the next week I was over there. She goes, you jinxed. Like what? [00:19:00] She goes, that thing last night started going off for no reason, and I realized I was wrong and I had to go up and change it.

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[00:19:26] Eric Goranson: But what I like is it'll tell me when it detects a little bit of smoke. Yep. And it'll actually text my phone. So maybe the dogs are home and I'm not, I'm not running around and I can see if I was to ever have smoke showing up in the house, I'm gonna note there's smoke before the fire and I'm not even have to be home for it, which I think is huge, especially if you're a, a parent with teenage kids at home.

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[00:19:58] Steve Kerber: Yeah. Uh, it's hard [00:20:00] to put a value on the, the safety of your family. And I mean, I know there's people out there that don't have a hundred bucks to spend on a smoke alarm, but, um, yeah, it's, it's vital to have that early warning.

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[00:20:33] Steve Kerber: Cause they're so into the game and there's, I mean, they're just headphones are on or whatever. Yeah, yeah. They're, they're in a different world. I mean, sometimes maybe figuratively or literally, depending on, uh, if they've got their VR headset on and everything else. And it's, uh, yeah, I mean all, all these crazy new things that were evolving, we've gotta pay attention to the bread and butter safety aspects as well.

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[00:21:21] Steve Kerber: That is as, I mean, talk about another evolution. I mean, you know this as you've been designing homes and things like that. Mm-hmm. , I mean, we used to have real doors. I mean, we used to have solid wood doors that were actual useful, um, For, for many things, sound dampening and, and, uh, things like that. And they, and they were beautiful.

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[00:22:08] Steve Kerber: Yeah. You can even get 'em molded and everything else. And it's wood pulp and it's not even wood. Yep. Um, but we've gotten really smart at making that look okay. Yeah. Uh, but what that means from a fire safety perspective is that, I mean, you, you want that barrier between you and where that fire could be or where that fire is.

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[00:22:51] Steve Kerber: I mean, we see it every single day. I mean, there, there was one day this year in the United States where people did not die in a [00:23:00] home fire one day. Wow. One day We're most of the way through November. Exactly. I think we're somewhere up to 2000 people dying in their homes. And, uh, these are all prevent. Um, so that door,

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[00:23:21] Eric Goranson: But I've got one of those escape platters that I can throw over the deck outside or out the window in the bedroom cuz I've got a slider out the, you know, out the bedroom, right out into the deck. And I could pop out that way if we had to. I don't have to

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[00:23:44] Steve Kerber: The wife and I start. What the heck is that noise? And you investigate and try and figure it out that your exit out of the front door, the way you would want to go, is likely gonna be cut off by smoke. Mm-hmm. . So if it's gonna be cut off by smoke, what's the plan [00:24:00] B? Well, plan B is out the window. All right.

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[00:24:30] Steve Kerber: But I mean, our research has showed that you can take a living room fire from a small flaming ignition to the living room, completely involved in fire in about three minutes. The average response time of the fire department in the United States is about six minutes. So you do the math. I mean, you need to be able to get yourself out.

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[00:25:12] Eric Goranson: I literally have a quarter mile away. I have a fire department right there, but who says they're not on another call when my call comes in and now the next one is two miles that way. So now I just tripled my response time.

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[00:25:34] Steve Kerber: That's not common for most of the country. Uh, but you're absolutely right. They could be out helping Mrs. Smith with a heart attack. And, uh, they're not available when your house fire comes in. We don't plan these things. Yeah.

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[00:25:54] Eric Goranson: So it's one of those things that, that I've always done is have a nice [00:26:00] big fire extinguishers in certain places around the house. Sure. And you know, I've got three in the garage by every door, one by every. You know, I, I, I was like one in the kitchen, one in the master bedroom, just because if you need that as an option, you have an option right there.

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[00:26:43] Steve Kerber: Mm-hmm. , and two, like you said, you've got 'em by your exit points, which is critical because you don't want anything between you and a safe way out. So in many ways people need to realize either, either I'm getting this fire or I'm not. But [00:27:00] I'm not gonna get cut off from safely being able to get outside should it not go well.

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[00:27:07] Eric Goranson: why they're there for, that I didn't think of as, okay. I'm gonna go on and and play hero here. Yeah, mine was okay if I need this to get out cuz I'm in a bad situation. I'm gonna wish I had it there. Well, at least I give myself one other option. Yeah,

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[00:27:24] Steve Kerber: Um, don't, don't go crawling through smoke. If you can't see your exit from where you're going and it's not clear to you, don't try and hold your breath and go, don't try it. I mean, we. We, we tell kids, stay low and go. It's like, well, no, stay low and go. If you can see your way out, don't just take a shot at it.

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[00:28:03] Eric Goranson: it's nasty. It's

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[00:28:05] Steve Kerber: So full of chemicals, a few breaths could be deadly. Um, so it's like, no, you gotta go plan B. You can't, if Plan A is out the door and you can't see the door, Please turn around and, and get a door between you and where it is and find another way out. Um, because I think that, that people take a chance and, uh, even a little bit of, uh, carbon monoxide, you're not gonna be thinking straight.

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[00:28:31] Eric Goranson: man. I, my fire story, I had, I was dating this girl 10, 12 years ago and, uh, she was helping care for her dad, her mom and dad. Her dad had Alzheimer's and so, They had the, she was staying in the unit kind of down below nice daylight basement house, nice view everything else, and she's got her kids getting get 'em ready for bed.

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[00:29:11] Eric Goranson: We, we always were trying to battle the stove with him. So I had it on the galley kitchen. I had two huge fire extinguishers on the wall and he had gone in there with this big 64 ounce truck stop coffee mug from the eighties and put it on the electric burner and tried to reheat his coffee. Yeah. Didn't know any better.

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[00:29:55] Eric Goranson: And it was a heck of a mess. But it was, fire department was [00:30:00] already called. I was just, okay, I think I can get this, but, uh, whew. It was i 10 seconds away from that. Getting outta getting outta.

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[00:30:20] Steve Kerber: And what seems common sense to just about anybody. They see the opposite as common sense. I mean, we see it, I mean, people putting plastic things on burners or, or going to cook something and then they fall asleep or wander off and do something else and next thing you know, it's, uh, you got a deadly situation.

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[00:30:40] Eric Goranson: have a pet peeve right now over this, and I don't know if you've ever seen this on Etsy and stuff out there. People are making these stove covers. I dunno if you've seen these, like see you got a 30 inch range and they're building a wood cutting board to go over the top of that thing.

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[00:31:14] Eric Goranson: And you just gave it a huge ignition source. I mean, even in the eighties when you used to see those little tin metal things that you'd put on the stove covers that grandma used to have, those things would always have coil marks and stuff on 'em. Cuz somebody would leave it on And that was

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[00:31:30] Steve Kerber: Oh, it would catch all the trees and yeah, you don't keep it clean and all of a sudden that's just a catchall to, to get burning. But I, I hadn't seen those yet. I mean, that sounds like a awful idea. But we're, I mean, we solve one problem, right? I mean, we, okay. We, we don't have a lot of space in our kitchen.

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[00:32:10] Steve Kerber: And it's, uh, this is what we see every single day.

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[00:32:31] Eric Goranson: I've been working with those guys for about four years now, and man, I love that thing. Anything I can do to plug in my wall to help sense what could be an electrical issue in my house, man, that's peace of mind.

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[00:32:58] Steve Kerber: Yeah. So to, to have [00:33:00] that heads up that, uh, something's not right. Especially with all the loads that we put on our power systems these days that maybe they're not designed for. Uh, what a great tool. Yeah. Somebody brought that to my attention recently cuz they. I think their insurance company had come to them and say, Hey, we want this, you to use these devices, uh, to prevent these loss and sound.

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[00:33:26] Eric Goranson: Yeah, it's really cool. It shows, uh, and I've tested it too. I actually was doing some work around the house and I played with one of my old outlets with the stab connector in the back and said, okay, let me see if I can force carefully this thing. Sent me a warning and I'm like, wow, okay.

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[00:33:47] Steve Kerber: So, yeah, I know. We, we've done some tests in the past where you look at, uh, the amount of those kind of, uh, rubber coded staples. That you put on all the wiring throughout [00:34:00] your house and like what are the chances that you either hit it in too far or get one of the legs through the wire and short it out or whatever it is.

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[00:34:30] Eric Goranson: Yeah, it's absolutely crazy. Well, I wanted to talk to you a little bit about some of the fire science stuff you guys have been doing with studies. I mean, I was kinda reading through some of the stuff you guys do where it's always fascinating to go in and watch, you know, some of those test burns with homes.

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[00:35:11] Eric Goranson: What have you guys been finding with this fire science stuff? Cuz I think it's gotta really help us at least understand what's going on out.

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[00:35:31] Steve Kerber: And I mean, upholstered furniture is just one of those things where, um, When we had cotton furniture, uh, I mean, I think back to my grandmother's house where all 80 year, yeah. Plus year old furniture. Maybe it had a plastic cover on it or something like that. But for the most part it was, uh, absolutely all cotton stuffed and it had springs in the cushions and stuff like that.

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[00:36:15] Steve Kerber: So in the fifties when we started creating plastics, an evolution of that is polyurethane. And it's incredibly durable. Um, it's easily to clean. Uh, it holds its shape. All the good things you would want in a comfortable piece of furniture except. It burns like crazy if, if an ignition source comes in contact with it.

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[00:37:01] Steve Kerber: Uh, some things kind of got mixed up there where they, they didn't put enough in. And that the stuff that they did put in was starting to migrate out of the foam and get into the dust of the hope got. And that's where, I mean, we absolutely do not want flame retardants in people's systems. Yeah. Um, it leads to all kinds of negative outcomes, including cancer and, uh, thyroid issues and everything like that.

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[00:37:54] Steve Kerber: And a lot of our tests have showed, uh, pretty much three minutes. Three to [00:38:00] five minutes, you've got a room completely involved in fire and. Then it starts spreading to everything else we were talking about the lightweight construction, the open floor plans. Mm-hmm. , um, all of these features that we want in our homes all really go against common fire safety practices and knowledge.

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[00:38:26] Eric Goranson: so true. It's so true. You know, and the people that don't have them want. For sure let's pop out those walls and it's, it's still common to this day. Absolutely.

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[00:38:41] Steve Kerber: Now all of a sudden everybody's concerned with them. Which, which ones can I take out? And, uh, now that I have these laminated beams and all this other lightweight construction materials, and I can span long distances because I couldn't before, um, I mean, we kind of joke you were, you were limited with the dimensions of your [00:39:00] rooms as you were building homes based on how big of a stick could you get?

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[00:39:19] Eric Goranson: What's your take on the new products that I'm seeing coming out now, and I don't want to get into so much into brands, but there's a lot of new building materials that are starting to come out, like framing lumber and stuff that have treatments and stuff on 'em.

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[00:39:44] Steve Kerber: Uh, as long as they're tested and certified and they do what they're claimed to do, um, what I think people need to realize is there, there's no magic bullet here, wood burns, regardless of what you treat it with.

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[00:40:28] Steve Kerber: Um, some of the tests we did early on, we thought that might be a great solution to, and we talked about getting your 20 minutes back to the fire service. Yeah. Uh oh. Yeah. You can roll this paint. And it'll resist it. Not, not with a legit content fire. Yeah. Is is that gonna help you? So yeah. It all depends on what, what is the use case and what are you trying to accomplish?

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[00:40:59] Eric Goranson: thought that too. [00:41:00] When I saw it, I went, oh, this is cool if it worked. But by the time that fire has gotten to framing, I mean, you've already gotten through the drywall, you've already gotten through maybe insulation or whatever else in there.

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[00:41:15] Steve Kerber: absolutely. And, uh, I mean, you brought up drywall. I mean, here, here's another one that we learned somewhat accidentally. Um, we had filled a bunch of houses to do the tests that you were talking about. We're gonna do firefighter ventilation tests. So in order to do that, we need living rooms on fire and, and everything burning.

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[00:41:53] Steve Kerber: Well, that was when they made the transition from drywall to ultra lightweight drywall. Oh, [00:42:00] no. They got really smart. I mean, the drywall industry is genius. It's like, what am I carrying this heavy border around for if I can make this lighter? So they make it lighter by blowing air bubbles into it. So they blow air bubbles in, which means it has less gypsum, which means it's fire resistance is not gonna be as good.

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[00:42:41] Steve Kerber: They have it for commercial buildings, they have it for family , they have it for a garage. Uh, they do not have it for most of your house, so there was no test. It had to meet. The only test it had to meet was a bending strength test. That way when you're carrying them around and transporting it, you're not ruining a whole bunch of [00:43:00] boards.

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[00:43:12] Eric Goranson: house that I'm seeing out there, I mean, if I walk into any major brand home center, those stacks are always of the light, drywall, every, you can't the regular stuff

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[00:43:23] Steve Kerber: Yeah. Yeah, it's all ultra lightweight or whatever their proprietary version of it is. Yeah. Um, yeah, no, you would have to special order what you and I would consider regular drywall from 15 years ago or whatever the case is.

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[00:43:43] Steve Kerber: And

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[00:43:45] Eric Goranson: No, it's so heavy. Nobody likes to work with it. The electricians didn't set the boxes at the right depth. You know, you chase the problems around, but, uh, it's expensive. How would your make me think about that? If I'm building a house right now, that I would go, huh? [00:44:00] Maybe fire rate of drywalls the way to go.

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[00:44:25] Steve Kerber: No. Um, because it's not required. So, yeah. I mean, we're gonna start seeing more fires that would've been maintained in a room are now gonna get into the structure.

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[00:44:40] Steve Kerber: just I'm with you, . Yes. We gotta start working the other direction, but I guess we, we need to figure out how to balance all of these innovations with a fire safety mindset as well.

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[00:45:06] Eric Goranson: You know, it's like I'm out here on the West coast of course, so I'm out in, in, uh, you know, outside fire country, you know, I'm outside of Portland, Oregon.

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[00:45:35] Eric Goranson: They're gonna try to contain this to the block, not to the

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[00:46:07] Steve Kerber: And there's a lot of things that we're learning that you can do. Um, a lot of it revolves around construction practices and, uh, getting things like vents and, and. Pathways from the outside to the inside that meet certain requirements. Sometimes those requirements don't exist yet. We're still running tests and try and figure these things out.

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[00:46:46] Steve Kerber: And then next week they're gonna be looking at windows. Cause that's another one where, I mean, Double pain, triple pain. Uh, argon, no argon, uh, tempered, not tempered. There's, there's all kinds of options. [00:47:00] If you're gonna build your house in the middle of the woods, it might make sense to go with a particular set of windows, uh, to try and.

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[00:47:26] Steve Kerber: I think that's another thing that people need to realize. It's not their home, it's not their community. It's the firefighters that they're gonna put in harm's way, trying to protect where they live. And there's other people at stake here and, uh, we've gotta be smart across the board.

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[00:47:47] Eric Goranson: It's forest. I have, you know, 15 trees that are over 300 years old that are, you know, 200 feet tall here. And I don't get ounce, a daylight except for maybe a six square feet area. [00:48:00] I have full tree cover over my house, and so I start to think that way too. For instance, going, okay, we've done such a great job of creating windows for hurricane areas.

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[00:48:16] Steve Kerber: Yeah. And what, what guidance do you get? I mean, there, there's all kinds of, I mean, you're sounds like somewhat of a special case. I mean, we try and get people to not have trees within, uh, like flammable shrubs within five feet, and then like 25, 5000 feet.

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[00:48:41] Eric Goranson: Yeah, there's not, and unfortunately in my tree area it would take me four years of permitting to actually get it to be what would be smart.

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[00:48:50] Steve Kerber: No, absolutely. So then, alright, well if we can't do that, then what are the next steps? Well, you want to have a fire rated roof. You don't want to have wood shake. Roof. [00:49:00] Um, and then there's little things like, uh, keeping things around your deck clean, uh, certain gutters, materials.

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[00:49:26] Steve Kerber: I mean, you could be smoked out by a fire that's in a different state. Oh, yeah.

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[00:49:49] Eric Goranson: I had a camera with me too, just to see if I could get some shots up there while I was up there, plane came in. I'm like, oh cool. And I took a couple pictures, then I went, that water's still coming out. [00:50:00] And man, it knocked me off into my yard.

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[00:50:06] Eric Goranson: lucky. But I did that sticky, nasty soap filled water, whatever they put in there for fire retardant.

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[00:50:25] Steve Kerber: It. Well, I think they said, I forget what the stats are. Something like 75% of the country is now considered part of the wild end urban interface.

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[00:50:58] Steve Kerber: Yeah. So [00:51:00] it's, it's a whole different environment and yeah, just stuff we need to pay attention to be smart about. There's a lot of resources out there, uh, that you could look at to, we're not calling it, uh, We used to call it hardening your home, uh, from wildfire. But now apparently that terminology, people don't know what that means.

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[00:51:34] Eric Goranson: Absolutely. That's a rabbit hole. We could all dive down. But before we go out here man, what are some of the other tips that you've got out there?

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[00:51:48] Steve Kerber: I want to go back to the, the kind of the top three, I mean the smoke alarms, making sure that one. They're not expired and that you got 'em one on every level of your [00:52:00] home, in every bedroom and outside every sleeping area.

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[00:52:26] Steve Kerber: Exactly. Um, so Well, and that's another thing that you don't have to worry about with your, uh, your new. Is, you can see the battery life of that anytime you want. You don't have to wait until it gets to, uh, 2% at three in the morning. You can do it on your terms, which is good. Exactly. Uh, then we've got the escape plants, and that's the A, B, and C uh, escape.

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[00:53:12] Steve Kerber: And if you can't get out, let's say you're on the third, fourth, fifth floor of a building or something like that, you're plan C, get behind the closed door, get as far from the fire as possible, get to a window, call for help and wait to be rescued. So simple b. Yep. And then the closed door closed before you doze, we say, put that barrier between you and a fire before you go to sleep at night.

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[00:53:54] Steve Kerber: And if you're out

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[00:54:13] Eric Goranson: This is great. I hope we've, uh, chained some lives.

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[00:54:24] Eric Goranson: that's a wrap and thanks for listening to Around the House.