SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - As part of Fire Safety Week, Savannah Fire Rescue invited WTOC to their training center for a demonstration on just how quickly a fire spreads to materials found right inside your living room.
The simulation set up Friday was meant to highlight what happens when a smoldering cigarette falls between the cushions of a couch. Without any accelerant, the fire went up in flames in less than five minutes.
“This stuff went up so fast because it’s not the old-school, antique couches," said Capt. Maria Gutierrez. "These couches are made of just foam, which is just poly material and it just goes.”
Savannah has seen three fire-related deaths this year, with each case involving cigarettes or improperly thrown away smoking materials according to Savannah Fire Rescue. During the demonstration, the captain explained the fire isn’t the only danger.
“In addition to the heat, which you all felt, you also have all the toxic gasses which come off it. So all that black stuff is bad, and it’ll keep burning,” said Capt. Gutierrez.
Savannah Fire Rescue uses Fire Prevention Week to reach out to community groups to help reinforce tips that they recommend all year long.
“Fire safety tips, just be sure that you don’t have a bunch of extension cords balled up underneath your couch, underneath rugs or anything. Don’t overload outlets, and just always be safe,” said Capt. Gutierrez.
The fire captain also says it’s a good idea to store a fire extinguisher away from heat sources like a stove, so if something does catch fire you don’t have to get near the flames to put it out.