‘Close Your Door’ to Help Prevent Fire Deaths, UL (Learn More)

As today’s fires have changed dramatically, Steve Kerber works to modernize UL’s pioneering research to bring fire safety education to firefighters and residents around the world.
As today’s fires have changed dramatically, Steve Kerber works to modernize UL’s pioneering research to bring fire safety education to firefighters and residents around the world.

UL’s ‘Close Your Door’ pledge aims to increase awareness of a new preventative measure that helps increase fire victim survivability.

After a decade of research, UL’s Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) found that a simple behavioral change, closing your bedroom door, could have a potentially life-saving impact.

Tests showed that a closed door made a life-saving difference in case of a fire.

(This video demonstrates the use of the door to control the air intake to reduce thermal insult to fire personnel and better control the fire. Observe the area inside the door and above the attack position. The fire attack was done with a low expansion foam tube flowing 20 gpm of 0.40% Novacool solution through a 1″ attack line. When the door is open the fire continues to grow as the amount of air flowing into the room allows the fire to overcome the 20 gpm Novacool solution stream. The thermal insult to the firefighter is great during this attempt to control the fire. When the door is totally closed there is no visible fire in the attic area. The lack of an air intake greatly slows the fire spread in the attic. When the door is cracked the fire in the attic becomes visible and grows. Courtesy of KillTheFlashoverProj and YouTube)

A room with an open door showed temperatures over 1,000°F, while a room with a closed door had temperatures at only 100°F.

Research also showed that a closed door kept room conditions survivable longer than an open door.

(Learn More, courtesy of UL FSRI and Vimeo)

A closed bedroom door provides a layer of protection between you and a fire, which is especially important at night when family members may be vulnerable, disoriented with little time to react.

“If you can get out of a burning structure, get out,” explains Steve Kerber, FSRI’s Research Director.

“If you can’t, put a closed door between you and the fire to buy yourself valuable time.”

A closed door helps limit oxygen flow, which may help prevent a fire from growing.

Consequently, when escaping a burning structure, it’s important to remember to close the door behind you to help limit property damage.

Publicizing new fire safety techniques for preventing fire spread is more essential today than ever, due the evolving fire environment.

Forty years ago, victims had an average of 17 minutes to escape a burning home after the activation of a smoke alarm.

Today, that time has dropped to 3 minutes or less due to evolutions in furnishings, homes incorporating more open layouts and lightweight construction materials, allowing fires to spread much quicker.

(Fire Dynamics in the 21st Century is an award winning video showcasing a series of unparalleled live burn fire experiments conducted on Governors Island, NY in 2012.

(The New York City Fire Department collaborated with NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and UL to design and conduct this study, which resulted in improved understanding of fire behavior in structures and the impact of flow path control on fire growth.)

(These findings also contribute to improving the survivability of both building occupants and firefighters. Courtesy of ULfirefightersafety and YouTube)

With less time to escape a fire, it becomes of increasing importance to sleep with your bedroom door closed.

Visit http://www.CloseYourDoor.org for additional information about this important public safety message and the UL FSRI “Close Your Door” campaign.

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