HIDDEN DANGERS: OPEN DOORS MEAN A BIGGER BLAZE

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Your smoke alarm goes off, waking you up in the middle of the night. So, you make a quick decision and head out the window. That’s smart, but would you shut your doors to buy the firefighters a little more time before they arrive?

Keeping doors and windows open just adds fuel to the fire, Tuscaloosa Fire Marshal Gene Holcomb said.

Want proof? WVUA 23 teamed up with Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue. To demonstrate, the fire department set fire to a miniature house.

When the windows are opened, flames get visibly stronger, reaching out into the open space with plenty of oxygen.

Closing your doors and windows cuts off that oxygen supply, meaning the fire doesn’t have as much fuel to keep itself blazing. So use basic science to your advantage.

A closed door keeps more oxygen in the room and away from the fire, so you can breathe better while you escape.

Many people mistakenly believe letting the home vent is the best way to keep fire damage to a minimum, but it’s actually the opposite. If there is ever a fire inside your home, if your doors are closed, damage will be mostly contained as long as firefighters get there quickly.

But remember, a closed door is no substitute for working smoke alarms. You should have one in every bedroom, and one on every floor outside those bedrooms.

Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue officials said closing your bedroom door at night could buy you more time to react if a smoke alarm goes off.

So remember: Close your door, check your smoke alarms and make an escape plan.

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