Cheaper, synthetic furniture is a fire hazard

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In Arkansas, firefighters report newer, synthetic furniture burns much faster than older furniture produced from natural materials like hardwood and cotton.

A video on Arkansas Matters website shows two rooms—one filled with modern furniture made from synthetic materials and another full of older furniture containing more natural materials—beginning at the point of ignition. The former was fully engulfed within four minutes, far faster than the latter.

“They just put out so much heat so quickly that it’s just not like it used to be,” Rogers Fire Department Captain Dennis Thurman tells the publication. “Most of the new modern furniture, within 5 minutes of it we’re in a fully involved fire situation. National average a quality fire department will be on the scene in 6 minutes.”

However, one furniture retailer says natural materials are much more expensive to use in furniture construction.  “Organic furniture… it’s more expensive in the market place. Soy based foams are more expensive to produce. Down feathers are more expensive,” says John Purtle, the owner of Precious Cargo. “Cost is always going to be the thing, the less expensive it, is the better it’s going to sell.”