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Local fire department promotes life-saving closed-door safety technique

PENN TOWNSHIP, Ind. --- Local firefighters said they want families to “close the door,” when it comes to fire safety.

Fire Prevention Week, a nationwide week devoted to highlighting fire prevention and safety, begins on Sunday and local firefighters hazards, begins on Sunday.

Penn Township Fire Battalion Chief Brian Kazmierczak said closing the door to the bedroom while sleeping could be the difference between life and death.

“What that’s going to do is it limits the amount of oxygen that fires receiving,” said Kazmierczak. “Fires just like a human being it survives off oxygen without oxygen it can’t burn.

He said the smoke that fills up a room from the fire is as fatal the burns of the fire.

“Smoke is what’s most dangerous to us as humans,” he said. “It will kill us well before the fire ever gets to us.”

Kazmierczak held a fire demonstration at the Penn Township Fire Department on Jackson Road. He used the demo to show how an enclosed fire can slow down the build-up of harmful smoke clouds, full of carbon monoxide and other chemicals.

“What we want you to do is have you sleep with your door closed so if a fire does develop in the house you’re protected from the smoke,” he said.

Kazmierczak said one or two breaths of the smoke can make a person unconscious. Research done by the Underwriters Laboratories Firefighter Safety Research Center shows a closed door not only blocks smoke, it can also slow the flow of heat and toxic gases to give people the extra time they need to wake up and get out alive.

“Fire prevention will save more lives than firefighting ever will,” said Kazmierczak. “If we can save your lives before the fire ever starts we’re doing our job.”

The department will be giving out free smoke detectors throughout October. Kazmierczak said people can sign up to get one at www.pennfire.org/install and firefighters will come out on the weekend and install the fire prevention device.


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