Public Safety Message: Close Before You Doze

By Chief Wade Watkins

Public Safety Message: Close Before You DozeHan Solo’s famous quote of “never tell me the odds” was epic in Star Wars. In real life, stacking the deck to improve those odds is key to protect our families and our community. Reducing and mitigating the risk and the impact of fires in our homes is the focus of this article.

Through prevention and early notification efforts we improve the odds. Another important safety measure is to Close Before You Doze. Through comprehensive experiments performed by the Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI), we now understand that it is extremely important for the survivability of occupants to close the bedroom door.

Using thermal imaging cameras, researchers found that closed-door rooms on both floors during the fire’s spread had average temperatures of less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit versus 1000+ degrees in the open-door rooms. “You could see a markable difference that a person could be alive in a room with a closed door much longer,” according to a FSRI researcher.

Saving lives starts with simple steps. Based on these findings, Close Before You Doze encourages those both trapped in a room during a fire, as well as those who can safely leave a home, to close as many doors as possible. These steps should only be performed if it can be done safely.

Why should you sleep with the door closed?

When a door is closed during a fire, a person in that room experiences:

  • More survivable temperatures: temperatures typically will stay below 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Livable oxygen levels: oxygen levels read around 18%. (For comparison, regular room air is about 20% oxygen.)
  • Less toxic carbon monoxide levels: close to 100 parts per million of carbon monoxide

When a door remains open during a fire, a person in that room is exposed to:

  • Less survivable temperatures: temperatures can get hotter than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Low oxygen levels: oxygen levels can decrease to 8%, making it harder to breathe
  • Extremely toxic carbon monoxide levels: dangerous levels can increase to 10,000 PPM CO

When it comes to fire safety, closing your bedroom door is a simple step that can make a big difference in the event of fire! Please check out for more information. Stay Safe Riverton!

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