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Closing your bedroom door at night could save your life in a fire

October 20, 2017

Fire safety experts are urging people to close their bedroom doors before they go to sleep, saying the simple task can potentially save lives in the event of a fire.

“When you can’t get out, the most important thing you can do, close that door between you and the fire," Stephen Kerber, the director of the UL's Firefighter Safety Research Institute (UL FSRI), told ABC News, adding that the simple act "could save your life.”

Alexis King told ABC News that she survived a house fire in Corpus Christi, Texas, that killed her parents and brother when she was only 10 years old. Her family home's smoke alarm battery was not working, and King said she credits closing her bedroom door with saving her life.

"The door helped me to still have clean air ... and to really figure out a way to get out," King said.

Following devastating wildfires in northern California earlier this month that left 42 people dead, the UL FSRI is re-launching its safety campaign, "Close Before You Doze," calling on people to always remember to shutter their doors before they go to sleep.

Approximately half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., according to a 2017 joint report from the U.S. Fire Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Researchers with the UL FSRI found that during a fire's spread, closed-door rooms had average temperatures of less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while open-door rooms had average temperatures of over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The UL FSRI used a model home to serve as a test facility in order to demonstrate how crucial it can be to close the door. The model home was outfitted with cameras and sensors to track temperature and gas levels, and all of the information was fed into a control center where the UL FSRI monitored the data.

During the demonstration, which was overseen by the Philadelphia Fire Department, a fire was started in the living room and two bedroom doors were closed, while one bedroom door was left open.

When fire experts opened the model home's front door to feed more oxygen to the fire and increase its strength, part of the window in the room with the open door flew off.

After 10 minutes, the UL FSRI and the Philadelphia Fire Department put the fire out and examined its aftermath.

The bedroom with the open door reached temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit, enough to melt the TV that was inside. Carbon monoxide levels soared to 6,000 parts per million. An industry standard carbon monoxide machine would go off at approximately 70 parts per million.

Meanwhile, the bedrooms with the closed doors reached temperatures of up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and carbon monoxide levels were 10 times lower than what was recorded in the room with the open door.

The UL FSRI called a closed bedroom door versus an open bedroom door the difference between "life or death" in a fact sheet on its website.

King told ABC News that she wishes her brother had known this information.

“Every day I wish my brother had closed the door,” she said.


Missing 115-year-old tortoise returned to New Mexico owner

July 30, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A 115-year-old desert tortoise that disappeared from its garden at a New Mexico senior living community was returned.

The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2w9xGQb ) the tortoise, Diablo, was returned Friday to Manzano del Sol Village. He had ventured to the backyard of a nearby home after a family bought the shell-wearing wanderer from kids at a local park.

Millie Tjeltweed, who owns Diablo, says she doesn't know the circumstances of the tortoise's disappear...

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Man who needed air in tires, bought lottery ticket wins $1M

July 1, 2017

A New York man who stopped at a convenience store to put air in his tires and ended up buying a lottery ticket has won a $1 million jackpot.

State lottery officials on Friday introduced 19-year-old Anthony Iavarone as the winner of the jackpot on a $1 million Cashword scratch-off ticket.

Iavarone, of Clifton Park, says he recently stopped at a Stewart's Shops store in the Saratoga County town of Ballston to put air in his tires. While there, he decided to buy a lottery ticket.

Iavarone says he c...

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Who's happy, who's not: Norway tops list, US falls

March 22, 2017

If you want to pursue happiness, grab a winter coat.

A new report shows Norway is the happiest country on Earth, Americans are getting sadder, and it takes more than just money to be happy.

What makes Norway and other northern European countries top the happiness list has a lot to do with a sense of community and broad social welfare support, according to experts and cheerful Norwegians, including one whose job it is to make people laugh.

"The answ...

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Deer crashes college cross-country race, knocks over runner

November 18, 2016

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. (AP) — A deer sprinting across a field knocked over a cross-country runner at an NCAA regional race, but the runner got up and finished the race.

Saturday's episode during the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Cross Country Championships at DeSales University in Center Valley was captured on video.

Gwynedd Mercy University senior Justin DeLuzio was competing in the 8K race when someone yelled, "Watch out for the deer!" A deer struck him in the stomach, and he fell to the g...

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October 14, 2016

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Indonesia to probe Google over alleged unpaid tax bill

September 17, 2016

Indonesia said Thursday it would launch investigations into Google after the technology giant allegedly refused to cooperate with the country's tax department, an official said.

Google has denied the allegations, declaring it had paid all taxes in Indonesia since opening its Jakarta offices in 2011.

The government has repeatedly asserted the California-based company had outstanding tax issues to resolve.

Muhammad Haniv, a senior official with Jakarta's tax office, said Google had refused a reque...

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Russian pranksters call heads of WADA, U.S. anti-doping agency

July 23, 2016

Russian media published on Friday calls by two comedians to the heads of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) pretending to be Ukrainian Sports Minister Ihor Zhdanov.

Pranksters Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov separately called WADA President Craig Reedie and USADA chief executive Travis Tygart, according to recordings published online by Sputnik, a Russian state-owned news agency.

Sputnik said the two callers "managed to trick" the two anti-doping...

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UK soccer fans tweet US politician who shares manager's name

June 4, 2016

A Philadelphia politician and the manager of an English soccer team might seem impossible to confuse, except that they're both named Darrell Clarke.

Fans of the Bristol Rovers have been bombarding the president of Philadelphia's city council on Twitter for months, expressing frustration at losses and offering support for a job well done.

The Bristol Post reports the English Clarke shuns social media, but fans of the team in the third tier of English soccer needed a way to vent on Twitter. So th...

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Student group wants UC chancellor to quit over PR spending

April 17, 2016

DAVIS, Calif. (AP) — The association that represents 240,000 University of California students statewide is calling for the head of the UC Davis to step down over the school's public relations spending to clean up the university's online image.

The UC Student Association voted Friday to seek Chancellor Linda Katehi's ouster, joining seven state lawmakers and student protesters who say she must go, The Sacramento Bee (http://bit.ly/1VwDOfR) reported Saturday.

The demands came after the newspap...

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