New invention from Everett firefighter designed to save lives

VIDEO: Local firefighter invents life saving device

EVERETT, Wash. — An Everett firefighter is getting ready to launch a Kickstarter campaign for an invention he believes will save lives.

Joel Sellinger is the co-founder of LifeDoor, a device that automatically shuts doors when triggered by a home’s smoke detectors.

He said having a closed door during a fire can save lives because it can keep smoke and fire from entering the room.

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Sellinger said the idea came about in January of 2017.

“There was no convincing my wife or daughter they should sleep with their doors closed at night,” Sellinger said.

He realized what he was looking for wasn’t on the market, so he decided to create it instead.

A year later, in January of 2018, he responded to a fire that drove home the importance of LifeDoor.

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Video shows flames shooting out of the Everett apartment complex. Incredibly, 3-year-old twin girls survived the fire simply because their bedroom door was shut. A picture from inside the apartment shows how charred their door was but the room itself was virtually unscathed.

“When I got a chance to walk through the apartment and see the door that was almost burned through on one side and how little damage in the room, it really hit home what a difference a closed door can make,” Sellinger explained.

After Sellinger responded to that fire, he knew he had to follow through with LifeDoor.

“It mounts to your current bedroom door using the existing hinge,” he said. “It has an acoustic sensor. It listens for the specific sound of your home smoke alarm.”

It then automatically shuts the door and alerts you to the fire.

“A closed door is vital if there is a fire and we need some kind of secondary factor where if a person doesn’t close it, we need a device that will do it for them,” he said.

Sellinger and his Lifedoor team debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year - and won "Most Important Startup in Eureka Park."

This week, he's getting ready to launch a Kickstarter campaign to get Lifedoor on the market and in homes. It will retail for $109 but early supporters on Kickstarter will get a discount

“Even if you're not home, a closed door can limit smoke damage and fire damage in your house, slow the growth of the fire. There's a lot of benefits of having a closed door,” Sellinger said. “We're providing peace of mind.”

Sellinger hopes to start production at the end of the year. He hopes to have it in stores next year.

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