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By Member John Long, Jr.
October 6, 2019

The Anne Arundel County Volunteer Firefighters Association launches life saving campaign in response to fires getting faster

The Anne Arundel County Volunteer Firefighters Association is reaching out across the community to deliver an important message it believes can save lives during a house fire. Firefighters are meeting with students and area residents to share the “Close Before You Doze” fire safety campaign, a public education initiative aimed at teaching people an important practice to contain a house fire and enhance safety.

The Volunteer Fire Companies are partnering with UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) on the safety campaign, which is based on research that shows fire is spreading faster than ever before. With less time to escape a fire, UL FSRI found that the simple behavioral change of closing your door could have a potentially life-saving impact by slowing the fire.

People once had an average of 17 minutes to escape a burning home after the activation of a smoke alarm. Today, that time has dropped to three minutes or less due to materials used in furnishings, homes incorporating more open layouts and lightweight construction materials, all contributing to fires spreading much quicker. UL FSRI research reveals closed doors dramatically decrease heat and CO levels versus open doors, providing trapped occupants more time to react and escape if they can do so safely.

The Close Before You Doze campaign features a consumer-facing website that includes safety tips, fire facts, news and a pledge, where participants can commit to closing their doors before they doze. A closed door provides a layer of protection between you and a fire, which is especially important at night when family members may be vulnerable with little time to react.

“As a fire department, we understand the importance of closing your door to slow the spread of fire. We felt compelled to deliver that message to residents who normally keep doors inside their home open,” said XXX of XX department. “It is a very simple behavioral change that can make a big difference. The evidence is crystal clear that a closed door can help save your life, your possesions and your familiy.”

“Open door versus closed door could mean life or death,” said Steve Kerber, UL Director of Firefighter Safety Research. “It’s important that when everyone goes to sleep at night that they sleep with their doors closed. Lives will be saved if more people hear the message to close your door.”

Visit for additional information about this important public safety message and the UL FSRI “Close Your Door” campaign.

About UL
UL solves the safety, security and sustainability challenges of the 21st century. We empower trust and enable the safe adoption of innovation. To do this, UL tests, inspects, audits, certifies, verifies claims, advises and trains as well as provides software solutions. Around the world, our employees share a common passion for our public mission to promote safe working and living environments for all people. Our public charity, Underwriters Laboratories Inc., conducts independent research, community outreach, standards development and safety education. To learn more about us, visit

About FSRI
UL’s Firefighter Safety Research Institute is dedicated to increasing firefighter knowledge to reduce injuries and deaths in the fire service and in the communities they serve. Working in partnership with the fire service, research departments and agencies, FSRI executes cutting-edge firefighter research and makes the results widely available to the global fire community. With a team of pioneering experts and access to UL’s leading infrastructure, equipment and vast knowledge and insights, FSRI conducts and disseminates cutting-edge research and training programs that focus on the changing dynamics of fires, and the impact they have on fire service tactics and strategies and public safety.


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