Pictures show why closing internal doors can help save lives in a fire

Wed 14 Aug, 2019

Three pictures showing damage to flat, closed bedroom door two metres away and bedroom virtually unaffected by fire

Firefighters are again reminding people how important it is to keep internal doors closed, particularly at night and when they are out, following a fire in a flat in Newport Pagnell.

The occupant, who was suffering from smoke inhalation and rescued by firefighters, has kindly allowed us to use the pictures above, taken inside his flat, to make more people aware of this vital fire safety message. 

Watch Commander Alec Watts, from Newport Pagnell Fire Station, said: “The bedroom was no more than two metres away from the room the fire was in. These images show the importance of closing internal doors.

"If you keep your internal doors closed, it slows down the spread of fire and smoke in the event of a fire. This can give you vital extra time to escape, as well as limiting the amount of damage caused.”

Crews from Newport Pagnell, Broughton and Great Holm were called to the fire in the lounge of a two-storey flat above two shops in High Street, Newport Pagnell, at 1.43am on 6 August.

They used a main jet, two hose reels, four sets of breathing apparatus, a fan and a thermal imaging camera, and a ladder to rescue the occupant.

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service encourages people to carry out a quick safety check every night before going to bed and not to run washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers, or leave anything on charge, at night or when they go out.

Bedtime checklist (from the Fire Safety in the Home booklet) 

- Close internal doors at night to stop a fire from spreading.

- Turn off and unplug electrical appliances unless they are designed to be left on – like your freezer.

- Check your cooker is turned off. 

- Don’t leave the washing machine on.

- Turn heaters off and put up fireguards.

- Put candles and cigarettes out properly. Make sure exits are kept clear

- Keep door and window keys where everyone can find them.