Firefighters say today’s homes, furnished with modern technology and oil-based products, burn faster and present dangers never seen before.

“Typically, 50 years ago, if a wool or cotton sofa was on fire you didn’t see the wool or cotton sofa drip,” Windsor Fire and Rescue chief training officer Paul Acton said. “So, what you now see is the synthetic material dripping. It’s the oils; that’s what all of the studies are finding leads to rapid fire spread and rapid pyrolysis and rapid combustion.”

A test by Underwriter Laboratories, a not-for-profit product safety testing and certification organization, found that an average-sized room furnished with modern products is fully engulfed in flames in three minutes. The same room, furnished with items 50 years of age took 30 minutes to do the same