Close and Contain!

By: Denise Koslowsky

When media began their coverage of the devastating apartment building fire that occurred earlier this month in NYC, there was a pretty consistent theme.  FDNY revealed that one of the reasons this particular fire spread so quickly is that when the victims were attempting to escape the blaze, they passed out before closing the door behind them.  Their plea was for all victims to close their doors in the event of a fire in an effort to prevent it from spreading and to minimize the damage.

We wanted to come back to a very important blog we wrote in 2018 about this very important safety precaution that can:

  • Save lives
  • Prevent a home fire from spreading

Close and Contain.

What we mean is that if you find yourself in a structure that is on fire, when you leave, be sure to Close and Contain by closing the door behind you in order to contain the fire. That’s it! It seems so simple but it truly can save your life. The reason this works is that a closed door limits the fire’s oxygen supply and can help to contain the fire. The closed door slows down or stops the spread of flames, reduces the temperature and reduces the emission of deadly Carbon Monoxide.

Underwriters Laboratories, the Safety and Consulting Company, takes this a step further and recommends that you Close Before You Doze. They request that before you lay down each night to sleep, you close the door to your bedroom. As stated above, this will reduce the spread of flames, reduce the temperature in the room and decrease the amount of Carbon Monoxide. Good Morning America did a story about this at the end of last year that beautifully illustrates this point so please take 3 minutes or so and watch.

Good Morning America: Close and Contain

Another important factor is that, modern materials found in items such as curtains, toys, or cushion filling often release toxic fumes as they burn. It is the fumes released as these items burn that cause the death of more people as they sleep than the flames of the fire itself.

So please, create a new habit…close your bedroom doors at night and teach your children that in a fire-related emergency that closing the door behind them can save lives!

One piece of great news for all NYC residents is that in May of 2018 the City Council passed legislation requiring all apartment doors to be self-closing by 2021.  Landlords will also be required to post notices in the building stressing the importance of closing doors in the event of a fire.

Educating each client we serve is important to us at Advocate Brokerage. If you have questions or need help with fire safety resources, please get in touch with us at 914-723-7100.

Don’t forget to Close and Contain, it can save a life!

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