State Fire Marshal’s Office Reminds Tennesseans to ‘Close the Door’ on Fire

Nashville, TN (2017-11-01) As peak fire season approaches, the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) urges Tennesseans to remember that a closed door is one of the fastest ways to stop the spread of fire during an emergency.

“When escaping a fire, Tennesseans should remember that a door can be an important piece of firefighting equipment in the home,” said Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Julie Mix McPeak. “Closing a door can prevent devastating fire loss and could help give your loved ones more time to get out of a burning house.”

A closed door hinders flames and smoke from spreading to other rooms and can help deprive a fire of the oxygen it needs to grow, limiting the structural damage a fire can cause and, most importantly, saving lives.

As part of its “Close the Door” campaign, the SFMO encourages people to close the door whenever possible—whether they are going to bed at night or leaving the room in the event of a fire. Closing the door can stop the spread of fire in a home for hours at a time, allowing time to find alternate escape routes or shelter in place until help arrives. The campaign works in conjunction with inter-connected smoke alarms, which are required in all new construction.

The SFMO encourages Tennesseans to remember:

  • Close the bedroom door when sleeping, if possible. (Don’t forget to install smoke alarms inside and outside the bedroom. For the best protection, make sure all smoke alarms are interconnected. When one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound.)
  • Close doors behind you when escaping a room/building that’s on fire.
  • If you are unable to escape a building that is on fire, close all doors between you and the fire. Use towels or sheets to seal the door cracks and cover air vents. Call the fire department to report your exact location.
  • Keep fire doors closed. These specialized doors are used to compartmentalize a building and prevent the spread of smoke and flames. Never wedge, disable, or prop open fire doors in apartments or other buildings.

For more information about “Close the Door” and other crucial fire safety measures, visit www.tn.gov/fire.