IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - As housing trends change, people are pushing for newer, open-concept homes. But Idaho Falls Fire Marshal Ken Anderson says this desire for innovative decor could be a fire hazard.
"There is something called an open design to where there aren't any hallways with little walls at the end of it. You'll see a kitchen and a dining room and it's all open across the whole area. When you have a fire (in this kind of home), the heat and smoke can travel throughout very quickly," he said.
Anderson said the concept itself isn't the biggest concern, instead it's the lack of proper equipment that homeowners often overlook. He says sprinklers are the No. 1 defense in a fire, especially when insulation impairs the flow of oxygen during a fire.
"Most of the time with these types of fires, people don't die from the fire, they don't die from the heat or the smoke, but the fire consumes all the oxygen inside that box and that results in fire deaths," said Anderson.
Anderson said the best advice for people looking to buy or renovate a home is to do their due diligence.
"Do all the research and put all the elements in that makes for the best safety one can have. It's a significant investment. We want them to be safe," he said.