Modern vs. Old Homes Burn in Simulation

Newer houses are at greater fire risk during holiday season.
2:14 | 12/21/11

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Transcript for Modern vs. Old Homes Burn in Simulation
A firefighter here in New York is recovering tonight after a heart pounding rescued his hand that were covered in flames that's him there. As he jumped onto an aerial ladder and the arms of another fireman. It was a dramatic reminder that we're in the peak season for house fires NBC's -- -- got a firsthand look at the risk and tonight he shares the keys to survival. It's all too common this time of your -- filled with holiday cheer and holiday lights just an accident away from disaster. The next 24 hours but a thousand American homes will catch fire. It's the holidays decorations around handles -- which you might not know is that candles burn at a thousand degrees. -- could accidentally start a devastating fire by doing something as simple as. -- -- -- We watch just how quickly the average American home -- inflates at the underwriters lab facility in Chicago. In older homes a fire like this could engulf this room and about. Minutes but with these new synthetic materials modern homes -- and point. Three minutes that's right most homes built since the 1980s can or a -- six times faster. Experts say the -- simple new homes are made with more flammable materials. -- to same roof beams which used to be solid lumber they're now wood chips glued together. Just three minutes seeing that couch becomes a -- law carpet under fire the room fills with noxious -- -- a death trap. Watch this recent experiment as an older house burns significantly. More slow. We can build this entire room out of natural materials into a bird far more slowly -- made of synthetic matier a much more slowly. Ten minutes slower -- ten minutes could mean life -- -- seconds count. Because synthetic materials are sturdier and cheaper site -- here shake a return to natural products is unlikely. The real light -- for folks in new homes and old -- awareness. So little -- smoke detector is sounding and it takes more than a couple water to put out a blaze -- the firefighting. That the professionals. Matt Gutman ABC news Northbrook Illinois.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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