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SFMO, Knox Co. Launch “Close the Door” Educational Campaign

Partnership Provides Outreach Materials to Tennessee Fire Departments
Thursday, September 06, 2018 | 09:44am

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) and Phoenix, Ariz. based rapid access device manufacturer Knox Company proudly announce the launch of a new statewide “Close the Door” fire safety awareness campaign for Tennessee communities.

This first-of-its-kind partnership between the SFMO and the Knox Company will provide educational materials and props to participating fire departments for their use in outreach events to stress the lifesaving capabilities of something commonly found in a home: a door. A closed door can keep fire from spreading, while also holding back toxic gases and smoke thus giving residents more time to escape.

“The State Fire Marshal’s Office has been a longtime proponent of the importance of closing doors during home fires,” said Tennessee State Fire Marshal and Department of Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “This partnership between the SFMO and Knox Company will further raise awareness of the lifesaving message of closing the door during a fire to communities across the state. We’re grateful for the generous support from the Knox Company to help support this important and easy-to-remember firefighting tool that can be found in every home.”

The Knox Company has committed to printing and distributing the new “Close the Door” educational materials and prop which will be provided directly to local fire departments across the state. Additionally, a new website has launched that further expands the reach of the “Close the Door” campaign. The partnership was formally unveiled during the annual Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association conference in Murfreesboro in July.

“Tennessee fire departments already do a great job of educating the public on fire prevention, and the partnership between the SFMO and Knox Company will take those efforts to a new level,” said Assistant Commissioner of Fire Prevention Gary Farley. “The ‘Close the Door’ props and educational materials give Tennessee fire departments more tools to help protect their communities from the devastating impacts of fire.”

During a home fire, every second counts, especially today.  Forty years ago, residents had over 17 minutes to escape a home fire with their lives. Today, that number is now under 3 minutes. A closed door can hinder flames and smoke from spreading to other rooms and can help deprive a fire of the oxygen it needs to grow, limiting the structural damage a fire can cause and saving lives.

“Knox is proud to partner with Tennessee SFMO on this important fire safety awareness program. Our goal is to provide resources and materials to help further spread the awareness of simply closing a door during a fire can save lives and property,” said Joni Trempala, President of Knox Company.

The “Close the Door” materials will be distributed to five fire departments as part of a pilot program. The program is set to be statewide starting in October of 2018.

If you are a fire chief with a protection district in Tennessee, you can request materials through the “Close the Door” program by emailing SFMO Education and Outreach Director Greg Adams.

More information about the “Close the Door” campaign can be found at