Discovering Answers Research Methods for for Public relations Donnalyn Pompper
Close Before You Doze Campaign Featured in Public Relations Book

UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute’s (FSRI) is world-renowned in the field of fire safety research, but it is also making a mark in the field of public relations. FSRI’s public fire safety education program campaign, Close Before You Doze is now a case study in the textbook Discovering Answers: Research Methods for Public Relations by Donnalyn Pompper. The campaign, which began in 2016, is featured to demonstrate how strategy and creativity can organically emerge from formal research.

The idea for the campaign emerged when a group of firefighters from across the U.S. recognized a recurring theme in  FSRI’s research – getting behind a closed door during a fire can save lives.  While the concept of closing doors during a fire for safety was not entirely new, it was not a known safety measure for the public. So they approached FSRI with an urgent request to turn these findings into public safety messaging. Enter Zoe Susice, senior director of research amplification at FSRI, who honed in on creating the campaign that would bring the message to life. She brought in the public relations team and collaborated with researchers and firefighters to transform the idea from a concept to a public safety education campaign.

Zoe Susice
Zoe Susice, Senior Director of Research Amplification

The Close Before You Doze campaign continues today and includes a suite of ready-to-use tools and resources to enable first responders and fire and life safety educators to spread the word that a closed door could potentially save lives in a fire. The Close Before You Doze campaign specifically informs the public about the importance of closing the bedroom door before going to sleep. Over the years, the campaign has successfully media attention and social media engagement, which has impacted consumer behavior around the world. The campaign reached a new level with the release of the 2018 “Dramatic Difference” video that showcased real-time reactions to a full-scale experiment that visually and scientifically demonstrated the difference between an open and closed door during a fire. This video with now over 12 million views on Facebook alone has been shared around the world and was even reenacted on live television through Good Morning America impacting consumer behavior.

Consumer behavior was determined through impressions, surveys, and social media monitoring. From January 2020 to April 2023, the FSRI team has documented 71 lives saved due to closed doors during a fire.

The FSRI team received the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) 2019 Silver Anvil award, which is awarded to the best strategic public relations campaign of the year.


Read the Case Study.