House fires are tragic. They destroy homes and precious belongings. They disrupt lives. And, they can injure and even end lives.
From 2015 to 2019, US fire departments responded to an estimated average of 346,800 home structure fires each year. During that time, house fires caused an average of 2,620 civilian deaths each year.
Unfortunately, one couple in Georgia was away from their home when it burst into flames engulfing their entire home and all of their belongings with it.
Returning home after receiving the tragic news that their home was on fire, Angelo and Deborah Rogers watched as their home burned to the ground. Fortunately, they had a Liberty gun safe protecting some of their firearms and valuables.
While Deborah was at work, she received a call that her house was on fire. Angelo arrived at the home 9 minutes after the fire started, and it was fully engulfed in flames.
A fire can completely engulf a house in just five minutes.
Over the next 6 hours, they watched as the fire took their home. A house fire can take anywhere from 5 minutes to several hours to put out, and sometimes all that can be done is contain the fire until it burns out.
As the Rogers watched the fire, they could see their safe through one of the windows in their home. The firefighters did their best to try to cool it with the hose, but it still glowed red. While this was disheartening, the Rogers were surprised to see that the safe was still standing after enduring the flames.
The next day, they pulled the safe from the ruins of their home and opened it up. The guns in the safe were preserved and in good condition. Angelo said his only regret is the five guns he didn’t put in the safe.
Deborah sent Liberty Safe a video of her and Angelo opening the safe, because she wanted to show us how grateful she was that it held up and preserved their guns.
Deborah said, "Their safe had performed miraculously above and beyond what we had expected or they had said it would do. And they sent me back a really sweet letter saying how much they appreciated the video. And that in the case the insurance didn't cover it, Liberty would provide us a safe because it was guaranteed".
We appreciate the Rogers for sharing their experience with us, and we are proud to have a product that can give families some relief when tragedy strikes.
Watch These Other Liberty Safe Fire Survival Stories
What happens to a home when a fire strikes?
From the timeline the Rogers experienced with their home going up in flames, we can see that it takes just minutes for a spark to turn a life upside down.
But what exactly happens in the first few minutes of a house fire? This information can help you stay safe if this ever occurs in your home.
A fire can ignite and start spreading within seconds. It just takes some spattering of oil on a dirty stovetop for a kitchen fire to ignite.
Within 30 seconds, the flames can grow considerably, getting hotter and hotter by the second. Then, the fire will spread to small nearby items, like curtains, dish towels, and bedding (depending on where it originated).
Within the first minute, the flames grow and spread to larger objects, like cabinets, shelves, and countertops.
The fire moves beyond its initial starting point and creates toxic smoke, including gases like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. At this point, breathing can hurt, and more than a breath or two can cause someone to pass out.
Two minutes in is when most house fires are considered deadly. So it's important to leave the house and call 9-1-1 as quickly as possible once a fire has started.
The fire intensifies, and the smoke gets hotter and thicker. The smoke reaches 190 degrees Fahrenheit and releases more toxins into the air. Smoke will creep through windows and doorways and travel up to higher floors in the home.
In the third minute of a house fire, smoke reaches temps of 400+ degrees, which is lethal. At this point, the fire can spread enough for a room to spontaneously combust into flames.
After four minutes, flames may shoot out windows and doorways. Smoke will have spread to several areas in the home, including upstairs.
Flame temperatures can reach up to 1,400 degrees, and every other area of the house (from where the fire originated) will be severely at risk as the flames spread.
After five minutes is when flames can entirely engulf the house. Oxygen will be minimal and combustible materials will have already ignited. At this point, the fire may take an hour (or several) to burn down completely.
Every house fire is different depending on what caused it and how quick the response time was, but they are all life-altering events, no matter how severe.
Liberty Safe protects your belongings
Fires are tragic, and we never want anyone to endure what the Rogers and so many others have had to go through. Unfortunately, sometimes house fires can't be prevented no matter what precautions we've taken.
That's why, at Liberty Safe, we've created a product that can help you rest easy knowing that your high-valued possessions are safe from harm. With certified fire protection in every one of our safes, most are guaranteed to withstand flames of 1200 degrees for at least 2 hours.
And that’s just our guarantee. As we can see from the Rogers’ experience, these safes can keep your belongings safe for much longer.
Ready to shop for your own Liberty Safe? Check out our store for home and gun safes today.