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House fires are a Tampa, Florida, homeowner’s worst nightmare, but do you really know how dangerous and damaging they can be? Here are three common house fire myths and the truths behind them.

Myth: Flames Cause the Most Damage

While flames are certainly destructive, smoke can also seriously affect you and your home. Smoke can compromise your lungs and cause oxygen deprivation, cause confusion, and make it hard to see. Smoke can also damage the interior of your home by leaving difficult-to-remove black marks and residual odor. This damage can happen even if flames are quickly contained and extinguished.

Myth: A New Home Is Less Likely to Catch Fire

There’s a common misconception that new construction is virtually fireproof. However, construction materials used in new homes — like engineered lumber, synthetic materials, and lightweight wood — make newer homes just as (if not more) flammable than their older counterparts. Plus, older homes tend to have heavier woods and less chemical-based materials, so flames don’t spread as easily.

Myth: You Have Plenty of Time to Escape

In movies, people always seem to have plenty of time to escape house fires, even when flames surround them. The truth is, fires can happen quickly and you often have only minutes to get out. Prep your family for quick evacuations by practicing the best ways to get out of your home in case of a fire, including crawling to avoid smoke and finding the best exit points. Remind family members that once they’re out of the house, going back in isn’t an option, because house fires spread far more quickly than most people anticipate.

One of the best ways to protect your home against devastating fires is to install fire safety systems, like sprinklers or smoke alarms. But if the worst happens, ServiceMaster 24 Hour will be there and can help you get back into your home quickly. Call us at 813-603-2001 when you need us.

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