Fire officials recommend upgrading security bars on doors, windows

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Security bars on doors and windows give people inside a sense of safety.

But they can prove deadly in a fire as was appears to be the case on Severson Avenue early Monday morning when 9 people were killed and another seriously injured after their home caught on fire.

In March 2011, WREG cameras were there for the aftermath of an Orange Mound fire.

A 36-year-old man died inside his home protected with security bars.

The bars kept neighbors from rescuing him when fire broke out.

"It was like a dead bolt door. I was trying to get in there and pry it off, but it would not come back."

The man inside never got out.

Bars to protect him ended up playing a role in his death.

Even then the fire department did not recommend security bars saying they slow down firefighters' response.

As WREG showed you if you do still decide to use them there are alternatives.

Choose bars with a quick release which allows anyone inside get out fast.

If you already have bars without the release upgrade to the emergency release model.

"We had bars on the back. We immediately took them off. Why? That could happen to anybody."

After Monday's tragedy, fire officials again sent out the warning for homeowners to get security bar upgrades.

"That home had bars on the windows all throughout the structure."

There are several security bar companies around town.

You should contact them to find out the cost of upgrading to an emergency release system.