Firefighters: Closing the bedroom door can save lives

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 4:54 PM EDT
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PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - House fires can be devastating, leaving ashes and sometimes lives in the wake of their damage.

Sometimes fires can be prevented, but fire officials say closing bedroom doors can be lifesaving.

The closed door acts as a temporary shield that keeps you safe, while firefighters work to rescue you.

“By closing the door, you are starving the fire of oxygen so it’s not going to be able to grow as quick,” said Joey Puterbaugh, a fire captain with the Teays Valley Fire Department.

Depending on how old your home is, a closed door can put more time on the clock for you to make it out safely.

About 34 years ago, firefighters had about 17 minutes to rescue you from your home. Nowadays, they only have three minutes, Puterbaugh told WSAZ. He explained that’s partly because of synthetic materials used in modern construction.

Fire officials say this can be a challenge for young children, as many of them prefer to sleep with the door open. They encourage parents to talk with their children and start conversations about fire escape plans and fire safety.

“Help them understand that by having their door closed it’s actually there to help them and they can still get out of their room if they need to,” Puterbaugh said.

Copyright 2020 WSAZ. All rights reserved.

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