BOSTON (CBS) – In a fire, every second counts and smoke alarms are vital to get everyone out of the home safely. There’s also another safeguard that can make a big difference in a fire and that’s simply closing the bedroom door. But if you forget to shut that door at night there’s now a device that can do it for you.
To demonstrate the importance of a closed door, fire crews in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania set a house on fire. With cameras strategically placed throughout the home you can see the fire start near a couch in the living room.
The smoke from the fire immediately began spreading throughout the home and rushed into a bedroom with the door open. The smoke consumed that room.
Compare that to the bedroom with the closed door. A camera captured the orange glow of the fire through the space between the floor and bottom of the door but that door created a potentially life-saving barrier keeping the flames and most of the smoke out of the bedroom.
“On the inside, as you can see, there is literally no smoke or heat damage to this room,” explained Chief Mark Stowe while inspecting the bedroom with the closed door, “This room was survivable.”
But what if you forget to close the door when you go to bed?
A new product developed by firefighters and an MIT engineer called Cease Fire will automatically close it for you. Cease Fire is a hinge that will close the door when a fire breaks out. It’s triggered by the rising temperature. “It’s only a top hinge, it’s only one hinge because heat has to come down. So, at 135 degrees it will activate and close the door to contain the fire,” said Jeff Teta of Cease Fire.
Beaver Falls fire crews set another fire to demonstrate how the hinge works. The camera captured the smoke and flames approaching the bedroom door and then the door automatically shut.
“The ceiling temperature in the hallway was over 1,000 degrees. And to come in this room with the door shut and have it a bed height at 80 degrees is a pretty incredible thing,” said Teta. “You’re not only saving lives, you’re protecting people’s property. If somebody’s not home, and they have a fire in their home, these doors will shut and your property will be protected.”
Cease Fire is currently taking pre-orders on its website. The company says the product will begin shipping this fall.