...A home will become fully engulfed in a matter of minutes?

The fact is, nearly everything in a house burns. Quickly. Once a fire gets started, there's very little time to get out -- and no time to go back in for personal possessions. Plan how you will escape, and practice that plan. You won't have time to make it up as you go.

...Smoke kills?

Most victims of fire die of smoke inhalation -- asphyxiation from breathing the poisonous gases that occur when house wares burn. Often, they die in their sleep. That's why a smoke detector is your best line of defense in a house fire.

...Fire is dark?

Inside a burning building, the smoke is often so heavy, you won't be able to see where you're going -- many victims get lost in their own house. In fact, firefighters simulate that darkness by covering the lens on their breathing masks to get used to feeling their way through rooms. Practice following walls along your escape route to ensure you can find your way.

...Fire is intensely hot?

You knew that -- but did you know it could be nearly 2,000 degrees near the ceiling in a fire? In that heat, one breath can kill or render a victim unable to escape. Even at the floor -- where you should craw to escape -- the temperature may be 200 degrees. In that heat, you must hurry to get out.