Fire Safety: Close the Door When Sleeping

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October 4-10, 2015 is National Fire Prevention Week and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal's Office and Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department are telling the community to remember three simple words during a fire, "Close the door!"

"A door is one of the best pieces of firefighting and life-saving equipment in a home," said Deputy Commissioner Gary West. "If you leave a room that is on fire, closing the door behind you can be the best decision you make."

Closing the door reduces fire growth and spread, limits damage to your home, and could possibly save lives. A closed door can hinder flames and smoke from spreading to other rooms and can help deprive a fire of the oxygen it needs to grow.

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"Fires can spread fast," MFRD Fire Rescue Chief Mark Foulks. "Closing the door can help control the fire and provide precious seconds needed for you and your loved ones to escape."

Getting out of a burning building and calling 9-1-1 are crucial to survival during a fire, but closing doors during an escape can potentially limit the structural damage a fire can cause and potentially save lives. For example, if you leave your apartment door open during a fire, you could contribute to the rapid spread of smoke and fire, making it more dangerous for firefighters to fight a fire and more difficult for other occupants to escape.

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Remember the following safety tips:

  • Close the bedroom door when sleeping, if possible.
  • Close doors behind you when escaping a room/building that's on fire.
  • If you are unable to escape a building that is on fire, close all doors between you and the fire. Use towels or sheets to seal the door cracks and cover air vents. Call the fire department to report your exact location.
  • Keep fire doors closed. These specialized doors are used to compartmentalize a building and prevent the spread of smoke and flames. Never wedge, disable, or prop open fire doors in apartments or other buildings.

The State Fire Marshal's Office and MFRD also urges the community to have working smoke alarms on all levels of their homes and to develop a home fire escape plan. For more tips on keeping your home fire-safe, download the State Fire Marshal's home fire safety checklist at http://1.usa.gov/1DcZeqt.

If you live in the city limits of Murfreesboro and would like to have free smoke alarms installed in your home, please contact MFRD's Fire Administration Office Monday through Friday 8:00 am-4:30 pm at 615-893-1422 to take advantage of Project SAFE "Smoke Alarms for Everyone."

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Ashley McDonald, Murfreesboro Fire
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