Fire Prevention & Protection

Fire Safety Campaign Encourages Fire Service Professionals to Help Communities Close the Door on Fire

Firefighters participate in a live burn

Photo credit: UL FSRI

UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) is working across all levels of the fire service in its “Close Before You Doze” fire safety campaign. This ongoing public education initiative is aimed at teaching the community how to contain a house fire and keep family members safe.

In honor of Fire Prevention Week, UL FSRI burned a fully-furnished home to demonstrate how the simple behavior of closing the doors in a house–particularly before bedtime–can have a potentially life-saving impact on those trapped inside, and what first responders should do when responding to a house fire.

MORE: Closed Doors Can Save Lives | UL FSRI Enlists Firefighters in ‘Close Your Door’ Campaign | Today’s Evolving Fire Attack

“Our research clearly shows that closed doors dramatically decrease heat and CO levels, which provide trapped occupants more time for help to arrive,” said Steve Kerber, UL Director of Firefighter Safety Research. “Closing your doors is especially important at night when people are vulnerable and disoriented, with little time to react. It’s such a simple thing to do, and the result can be life versus death.”

Forty years ago, people had an average of 17 minutes to escape a burning home after the activation of a smoke alarm. Today, according to research by UL FSRI, that window has shrunk to an average of three minutes or less as a result of synthetic furnishing materials, open floor plans and lightweight construction materials, which all accelerate the spread of a fire.

“As members of the fire service, we know the significant impact a closed door can have on the occupants of a burning house,” said Kelvin Thomas, Battalion Chief, Deputy Training Officer/Command Competencies Coordinator of the Montgomery County (MD) Fire & Rescue Service. “Because of that, we’re excited to be working with UL FSRI to spread the message far and wide within our communities. Our hope is that closing doors becomes second nature in every household across America, and that we see a dramatic decrease in house fire fatalities as a result.”


UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) advances fire research knowledge and develops cutting edge, practical fire service education aimed at helping firefighters stay safe while more effectively protecting people and property. Guided by a global advisory board comprised of fire service personnel, UL FSRI investigates residential, commercial, and industrial fires through full-scale testing, field-testing, and modeling to replicate actual fires faced by firefighters. Research results are shared through interactive training courses that have reached hundreds of thousands of firefighters globally. To learn more, visit

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