3 Minutes Matter

After forty years in the industry, Wayne Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc. have come to know many families and individuals affected by fires. It's their stories that inspired us to create 3MinutesMatter.com, a website dedicated to promoting fire safety and prevention.

3 Minutes Matter Truck

Minutes Matter because families and dreams become memories in 3 minutes

A fire can tear through a home, mercilessly terminating property and life without warning. Anyone caught in a fire has as little as three minutes to escape certain, irreversible tragedies. Such a short amount of time means preparedness is imperative for survival. The timeline below illustrates the speed and ferocity of fires, and how quickly things can change.

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smoke detector smoke detector shadow 30 seconds

At 30 seconds, smoke detectors sense the fire and activate.

Fire ignition has occurred. Every 74 seconds, a house burns in the U.S. Within one minute of the fire, the smoke alarm sounds. You awaken. You don’t smell smoke but you get up to check.

smoke detector 30 seconds

At 30 seconds, smoke detectors sense the fire and activate.

Fire ignition has occurred. Every 74 seconds, a house burns in the U.S. Within one minute of the fire, the smoke alarm sounds. You awaken. You don’t smell smoke but you get up to check.

burned memories
burned familiy photograph
1 minute and 10 seconds

Fire spreads from first flame and smoke begins to fill the room.

It takes almost 30 seconds to reach the stairs and start down. As you descend, you start to smell smoke. You see smoke billowing out of the living room. In the living room, the curtains are in flames. You start back up the stairs yelling to warn your family.

The temperatures in the room will exceed 200 degrees Fahrenheit (°F).

thermometer
2 minutes and 45 seconds

Structural integrity of the room is compromised. Objects fall from the ceiling.

Fire is growing. By the time you reach the top of the stairs, you are blinded by smoke. Fire is not bright. It is hidden by thick, black smoke.

2 minutes and 56 seconds

Smoke pours into the other rooms. Blackout conditions are imminent.

Building materials and furnishings give off poisonous gases as they burn. Most people who die in fires don’t die from burns. Smoke and toxic fumes are almost always the killer. In the blackness, you collide with your spouse to save the children.

3 minutes

Escape becomes more difficult and loss of life should be expected.

Temperatures in the home continue to rise. The fire conditions in the home make it nearly impossible to continue.

4 minutes and 10 seconds

Flashover occurs. Everything in the room ignites. Temperatures are over 1200 degrees.

Everyone should be out of the house by this time. More than 4,000 Americans die in fires every year.

6 minutes

Fire department arrives at your home. (National average)

During the chaos, the neighbors may have called the fire department. Firefighters are scrambling to the emergency. The fire truck is rolling to your home. Upon arrival at your home, the firefighters are evaluating the fire, searching for a water source and preparing to enter your home. The national average response time is 6 minutes from receiving the call.

It doesn't have to come to this.

Fire Sprinklers Save Lives.

The sequence of events described above changes dramatically when a home is equipped with residential fire sprinklers. Fire sprinklers typically activate within the first couple of minutes, dousing the flames before they grow too large. This video presents three distinct perspectives on fires and fire sprinklers. Please watch.

burn demonstration video

By the Numbers

19secs

Fire departments respond to a fire every 19 seconds in the United States.

1.3M

There are over 1,300,000 reported fires in the United States each year.

7

Seven (7) people die per day from fires in the United States.

$14B

Over $14.3 billion was lost to fire-related destruction in 2015.

6

It takes fire departments an average of six (6) minutes to arrive on scene after a call is made.