publication date: Jun 4, 2015

Guest article from More Th>n - A house fire can take hold in less time than it takes to make a cup of tea

more th>n

The dangerous speed in which a fire can take hold one is of many shocking findings in a new study by MORE TH>N Insurance.

Over 3.3 million homes in Britain don’t have working smoke alarms.

MORE TH>N opened a unique smoke alarm boutique in London, using state of the art 3D projection technology to create a terrifying, fiery surprise inside and emphasise the lifesaving importance of smoke alarms.
Having a nice cup of tea: it’s a national pastime enjoyed by millions of households every single day. But few people know that in less than half the time it takes to boil the kettle and brew a perfect cuppa, a fire can take hold in a room, devastating a home, destroying treasured possessions and in the worst possible cases, taking lives[1].
The comparative speed at which a fire can spread through the average home is just one of many shocking findings in a new fire safety study released today by insurers MORE TH>N to encourage better fire safety at home.
Given the life-threatening pace at which a fire can spread across a room, shockingly one in every eight (13%) households in Britain doesn’t have a working smoke alarm installed[2]. That’s the equivalent of 3.3 million households[3] across the country at risk of having no warning in the event of a fire breaking out in their homes.
Smoke Alarm Boutique
To bring to life the ferocious velocity at which a fire can devastate a room, and emphasise the lifesaving importance of smoke alarms, MORE TH>N opened Britain’s first 4D, multi-sensory smoke alarm boutique - using state of the art projection mapping technology to create a very unexpected fiery surprise inside.
As customers browse around the boutique’s trendy home wares and furniture, a terrifying blaze suddenly envelops the boutique’s environment, giving it the lifelike appearance and sounds of a charred, twisted and fire-ravaged interior. A video of shoppers being surprised by the inferno illusion can be seen here:


Commenting on the experience James Ward, a MORE TH>N Personal Project Manager[4], said: “Anybody that believes a fire takes time to spread through a house is sadly mistaken. A fire has the potential to envelop your entire living room or kitchen in less time than it takes to make a cup of tea.
“Up until now, if you hadn’t experienced a house fire first-hand you could only really comprehend its destructive force through videos or photographs. With the smoke alarm boutique, however, we’re able to create the quite terrifying illusion that you’re witnessing the effects of a house fire with your own eyes, but without ever being in any actual danger. Hopefully it will make people realise the incredible importance of a smoke alarm and basic fire safety.”
Smoke Alarming
Further worrying findings from the fire study, conducted by MORE TH>N with 2,000 British homeowners and through Freedom of Information requests with 30 regional Fire and Rescue authorities across England, Scotland and Wales, showed:

  • One in eight (12.5%) British households have experienced a house fire in their lives. This is the equivalent of 3,263,199 households;
  • Of those, almost a third (29%) did not have a fully functioning smoke alarm at the time of the fire;
  • 16% of those without a working smoke alarm admitted they deliberately removed the batteries because the devices were “annoying” and “kept going off during cooking”;
  • 13% of households have not checked their smoke alarm for at least six months;
  • 14% haven’t checked their smoke alarm for a year; and
  • 5% have never checked their smoke alarm to see if it is working

James Ward added: “We would urge every household in Britain to make sure they have a fully working set of smoke alarms and that they check these regularly. Working smoke alarms save lives, and can give you the essential warning to help save your life, the lives of loved ones and your material possessions.”

More than

He continued: “MORE TH>N Personal Project Managers, like myself, can help to put people’s lives back on track in the event of a fire and restore homes to their former state. But first and foremost is ensuring personal safety in the event of a fire breaking out. And that can be achieved with something as small and simple as a smoke alarm.”

more than

Further statistics from the research by MORE TH>N:
Cooking devices are the biggest cause of house fires in Britain, with over a quarter (28%) admitting items such as cookers, pans or toasters being the catalyst for a blaze. These were followed by candles (14%), lights being left on (11%), cigarettes (8%) and Christmas tree decorations (5%).

Almost a fifth (19%) of homeowners that experienced a fire sadly saw their pets harmed in the fire, with dogs (53%) and cats (48%) being the most common casualties.

Over half (56%) of those surveyed admit to leaving an appliance on that could cause a fire before going to bed or leaving home.

According to the Department for Communities and Local Government there were 212,500 fires attended to in Great Britain 2013 - 2014.No smoke alarm was present in 31% of home fires in 2014, while a smoke alarm was present but did not operate in 19% of home fires.

Nearly 40% of house fire deaths in Great Britain occurred in properties where no alarm was installed.

In addition to handing out free smoke alarms to visitors of the 4D smoke alarm boutique, MORE TH>N will also be giving away smoke alarms on its Facebook page this week. Go to for more information. To see MORE TH>N’s latest advertising campaign go to

MORE TH>N’s Personal Project Managers provide help and support to customers making a major insurance claim when the unthinkable happens to their home, like a fire. MORE TH>N’s Personal Project Managers help manage the appointment of suppliers and skilled repairers through complex claims that involve a number of different tradesmen, helping rebuild customer’s lives, illustrating MORE TH>N’s aim to be Britain’s most helpful insurer.

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