Flame Buster?

February 8, 2008 8:46:44 PM PST
Action News took a look at one product on the market that claims to make your home a safer place. The product claims to "remove the fuel a fire needs to burn." But does it work? Or, does it provide a false sense of security.

"Home fires still the three leading causes are heating smoking or cooking," said George Fielden the Deputy Fire Marshall of Upper Merion Township in Montgomery County.

The manufacturer of the No Burn Fabric Fire Gard claims the product aids in preventing or slowing down a fire, so you and your family have more time to escape.

Action News took the product to the Montgomery County Fire Academy. With the help of Fielden we put the fire retardant to the test.

The product meets National Fire Protection Association standards.

To accurately test the product, we set up two pieces of furniture manufactured the same way. Then, we sprayed the sofas and curtains according to the bottle's instructions and let it sit overnight.

"If this could help out that would be a good thing."

Fielden lit a candle underneath both sofas to see how each one reacts.

"You can see the couch on the right that was not treated seems to be burning a little more."

Then just about a minute later, the untreated sofa becomes engulfed in flames.

"The non-treated piece of furniture you can see the fire patterns continuing all along the bottom extending around getting a lot more involvement. The treated chair again is just where the initial contact was where you have the direct flame," Fielden explained.

The untreated sofa went up in flames in a matter of minutes, but it took more than ten minutes for the treated sofa to go up in flames.

Fielden said he was impressed.

"The treated furniture eventually burned but again we're talking about giving you time to get out."

We tested curtains as well and those results were even more dramatic.

"You can see how this is very dramatic how quickly the first curtain took off and this one is not even catching at all," Fielden said. "This is working really well."

Fielden said although the product buys you time, it should not replace safety precautions. More importantly no fire retardant is a substitute for working smoke detectors in the home.

"You do this as part of the comprehensive safety plan I think you'll be doing real well."

The Fabric Fire Gard costs about $20 plus shipping and handling. There are other fire retardants you can purchase, we have only tested No-Burn's. Whatever you buy you want to make sure that the product is independently tested and it meets NFPA standards.

Montgomery County Fire Academy