Firefighters use controlled blaze to show ‘Close the Door’ safety

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — There is a simple safety precaution that can save your life in the case of a home fire.

The Madison County Fire Department set a controlled fire Wednesday to demonstrate how a closed door could possibly save your life.

“What a closed door will do is give a person in that room a longer chance to survive a fire,” Madison County Fire Marshal Don Friddle said.

According to fire officials, it only takes a few minutes before living conditions in the home become unbearable.

“Years ago, we had 17 minutes to escape a home fire. Now we’re looking at three minutes,” Friddle said.

Fire Marshal Friddle says the closed door will allow you an extra 20 minutes of breathable air, which also allows firefighters time to arrive at your location.

“It give us an actual chance to get in there and do some good,” Friddle said.

The closed door limits the amount of smoke able to enter the room.

“And you can look at the walls in here and tell that there is no lines of demarcation in here,” Friddle said, looking at the aftermath of the controlled fire.

Friddle says if the door is closed, temperatures in the room may not even reach 90 degrees.

“If we don’t get a call from now to the end of the year, we are very happy. We’ve done what we’re supposed to do,” Friddle said.

He says closing your door is an easy, life-saving effort that anyone can do.

“It has saved numerous lives, and it’s just very, very important to follow these safety measures,” Friddle said.

Fire officials say it is also important to have a working smoke alarm and a fire escape plan.

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