The Garrett County Fire Marshal’s Office is meeting with area residents to promote the “Close Before You Doze” fire safety campaign, an ongoing public outreach initiative aimed at spreading this potentially life-saving message and helping keep family members safe in the event of a fire. In partnership with UL's Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI), the fire safety campaign, which is based on research that shows fires are spreading faster than ever before, is designed to raise awareness and ensure that residents are as prepared as possible.
Forty years ago, people had an average of 17 minutes to escape a burning home after the activation of a smoke alarm. Today, they have an average of three minutes or less due to synthetic furnishings, open floor plans and lightweight construction materials that can combine to accelerate the spread of a fire.
“Here in Garrett County, we understand that closed doors significantly slow the spread of a fire,” said Chris Cieslarczyk, Garrett County Fire Marshal. “As public safety professionals, it’s our job to deliver the Close Before You Doze message and make sure our residents adopt this potentially life-saving behavior.” The Close Before You Doze campaign features a website that includes safety tips and resources, fire facts, and other campaign-related news and information. “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, vice president of research and director of FSRI. “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.”