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Firefighters say this one simple action could save lives

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published October 24, 2017


METRO DETROIT — Firefighters are encouraging the community to “close before you doze” and share the fire safety campaign from the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute as an initiative to teach people the importance of containing a house fire.

The Roseville Fire Department has partnered with FSRI on the campaign as a result of FSRI doing 10 years of research to prove that closed doors could potentially save lives in a fire. 

According to its website, www.close, FSRI is “dedicated to providing independent research, knowledge and training for the fire safety community and for the protection of people and property around the world.”

Roseville Fire Department Sgt. William Ciner stated in an email to C & G Newspapers  that this message “could potentially save lives.”

“Our department is waging an important campaign to implore our residents to slow the speed of that fire, protect themselves and their possessions by closing the doors inside their home,” Ciner said. 

Fire Prevention Officer Brian Kanigowski, of the Roseville Fire Department, stated in an email to C & G Newspapers that it’s “time to close the door on fast-moving home fires.” 

“The pace in which a fire races through a home has increased at a deadly rate. Today, a person has about three minutes from the start of a fire to escape a house fire. That’s a far cry from 40 years ago, when you had about 17 minutes,” stated Kanigowski. 

According to Kanigowski, the materials used to build homes now are different than in the past. 

“Natural materials were used in the past, but now synthetics are more common, and they burn faster. Add to that the open floor plans common in today’s homes, and it presents the perfect storm for a quick escalation of a fire. Research tells us that heat and speed of growth have both increased,” Kanigowski said. 

Firefighters want to encourage families to close all their doors at night to reduce a potential fire’s access to oxygen, which slows its spread, and to protect against heat and carbon monoxide. These effects give people more time to escape.

Here are tips to increase the chances of survival during a fast-moving house fire:  

• Close your doors at night.

• Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide 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 so that when one sounds, they all sound. Test the alarms monthly.

• 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 time. Do not go back inside a burning home.

• Parents worried about not hearing their children in the middle of the night with a door closed should place a baby monitor in the child’s room. If a parent can’t get to a child’s room due to smoke, the closed door will provide a safety barrier, and children will 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.

As of Oct. 18, more than 5,000 people had taken the pledge to close their bedroom doors at night. To “join the closed door crew” or learn more information about fire prevention, visit