10 Fire Departments Will Receive Funds for Fire Safety Education

News Release, Allison PR

Columbia, MD (Oct. 1, 2019 Culminating a nationwide search for the most creative interpretation of a critical life-saving message, UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) announces the winners of the Close Before You Doze video contest. The first-place “Close B4 U Doze” video, created by North Carolina fire departments Greenville Fire/Rescue, Rocky Mount Fire Department and Wilson Fire/Rescue Services, received a $25,000 donation for local fire safety education.

The contest spread the Close Before You Doze fire safety message by asking the public to create original videos reminding people to close their bedroom doors each night to help create a barrier against deadly levels of carbon monoxide, smoke and flames, and potentially save lives during a home fire. The winning video features a catchy, original rap that is engaging and educational, sharing key fire safety measures including closing bedroom doors, how to safely escape a home fire and the importance of a fire escape plan.

“We are humbled to receive this recognition from UL FSRI and the Close Before You Doze contest! Our hope is that the music video will help people better understand the importance of fire safety at home,” said Rebekah Thurston, Greenville Fire/Rescue, Life Safety Educator and PIO, speaking on behalf of the three honored departments. “We believe this honor further solidifies the commitment of each of our departments to fire safety and prevention, and we plan to continue that tradition in Eastern North Carolina.”

From musical interpretations and creative animations to real-life demonstrations, the contest received dozens of entries that were put to a public vote to determine the top eight winners. A panel of UL FSRI representatives ranked the top videos, and each winning fire department received a donation for use in their fire safety education efforts.

In addition to the first-place winner, the “Close Before You Doze: Small Steps to Safety” video was named runner-up, awarding the Coble Fire Department in Tennessee with a $15,000 donation. The Omaha Fire Department in Nebraska and La Plata Volunteer Fire Department in Maryland tied for third and each received a $10,000 donation for their videos “Omaha Fire Department: Close Before You Doze” and “Flash Max Slams the Door on Home Fires,” respectively.

“It’s incredible to see these amazing interpretations of the Close Before Your Doze message,” said Zoe Susice, director of research amplification at UL FSRI. “We were happy to see three fire departments so inspired that they came together to make their brilliant original song and the educational music video to remind people to put the Close Before You Doze message into practice and share it with their community.”

Four additional videos received honorable mentions and $5,000 donations to their selected fire departments:

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 40 years ago people had 17 minutes to escape their home in the event of a fire. Today, fire spreads faster due to synthetic fabrics in furniture, lighter construction materials, and open floor plans, leaving people with less than three minutes to escape. Research from UL FSRI shows that in a fire, a closed-door room has average temperatures of less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit versus more than 1,000 degrees in a room with an open door. A door is also an effective barrier against deadly smoke and carbon monoxide, keeping oxygen levels higher, and if someone cannot escape the room, a closed door helps to buy precious time for help to arrive.

For more information about the Close Before You Doze message and to view all winning videos, please visit CloseYourDoor.org/contest.


David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...