MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) - There is no price tag for safety, but every home has a free tool just as valuable as a smoke detector: a door. It's simple, yet powerful in fire prevention, according to officials. They can save homes, businesses and even lives.
"An average door in a home; the cheapest door you can find at the hardware store will hold back smoke and heat," Mobile Fire-Rescue Spokesperson Steve Huffman said. Huffman said few people realize closing doors at the end of the work day in your office or sleeping with the doors closed at home can help in fire prevention.
"The door is a barrier if you will," he said, "Whenever that smoke or heat is traveling throughout the building, <the door> is stopping it from getting in a room where you are and keeping that air as clean as possible."
San Antonio, Texas fire officials said a closed door in upstairs office helped contain a fire inside Local 15 sister station WOAI-TV Tuesday morning, even as the morning news team was on the air. "I turned around and saw all the firefighters coming in," News 4 morning producer Lynn O'Donnell told WOAI.com, "Very first thing I said was, 'Does anyone in the studio know -- in the control room, that we are on fire?'"
Everyone evacuated the station safely.PREVIOUS ARTICLE: Fire damages Local 15 sister-station WOAI-TV
Earlier this month, an open door nearly cost a child his life in Mobile. A woman in the room with her grandson woke up to smoke inside their Farnell Drive home. Not realizing the fire was in the kitchen, she opened the front door and unknowingly gave the fire what it needed to burn stronger.
"It induces oxygen into that environment and that's one of the things a fire needs to grow," Huffman said.
The flames were too intense for the woman to go back for her grandson. Fire Captain Richard Harris climbed through a window to save him. "He was in the bathroom; kind of lost and on his knees and when I found him he reached up," Harris recalled, "I grabbed him and said, 'Let's go.'" PREVIOUS ARTICLE: Boy, 4, pulled from burning home
"All the training hard work and studying and stuff you've done really comes back to play and makes you feel good, that it all paid off," he added.
Still, officials hope by families planning ahead, fire crews won't have to use their essential life-saving training.