Each day our department responds to a variety of calls, some more easily controlled than others. Often, residents have escaped themselves prior to our arrival. Sometimes they haven't and residents are trapped. That's why we are leading a campaign across the community to change a simple behavior. In partnership with Underwriters Laboratories Firefighters Safety Research Institute, we are promoting "Close Before You Doze" to encourage every family to make sure they close all of their doors – bedrooms, bathrooms, basement – at night to starve the fire of the oxygen it requires to grow and to give you more time to escape the fire.
There is a recipe to increase your chances of survival in fast-moving house fire.
Make sure your smoke and CO alarms are in working condition. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound. Test them monthly.
Close your doors at night.
If a fire hits and you can get out of a burning structure, get out and close doors behind you as you exit. If you can't, put a closed door between you and the fire to buy yourself valuable time. Don't ever go back inside a burning home.
For parents worried about not hearing their children in the middle of the night with a door closed, simply place a baby monitor in your child's room. If you can't get to your children's room because you're cut off by smoke the closed door will provide a safety barrier and you know your children have longer to survive in that situation.
Have an escape plan, identify multiple escape routes from every room and practice them as a family at various hours.
After a fire starts, there's little time to act. Take these fire safety and prevention steps today and you'll sleep easier at night.