SANTA MARIA, Calif. - In an instant, dream homes can be turned to nightmares but it doesn't have to be that way. Santa Maria Fire Chief Leonard Champion says smoke detectors are your first line of defense when a fire starts.
"Smoke detectors are the biggest for saving lives," Champion tells us.
Once a smoke detector goes off however, your time to get out of the house starts decreasing. Some fires can be strengthened by the amount of fuel sources found in furniture made out of things like synthetics, foams and plastic but there is a way to see how flammable your household properties are by checking the manufacturer's labeling.
"UL is the Underwriter Laboratory and what most furnishings get a rating for. These things are designed to not burn readily so those are the kinds of efforts being made on the industry side to keep fires small," Champion explains.
Some new home construction is a safeguard in itself. Champion says energy efficient homes help contain heat once a fire starts, telling us "If there is a fire, the compartment is going to hold that heat a lot better and so it's not going to extend out of a bedroom if the doors and windows are closed up."
Closing windows and doors is one of the best ways you can help firefighters. "If they can - and they have the time to safely do this, close doors - close the door to the room of where the fire is it, that is going to confine it and keep it small," Champion says.