Here’s Why You Should Close Your Bedroom Door at Night

It may not seem like a big deal, but when it comes to you and your family's safety, it's vital. Here's why.

I’m sure there are numerous reasons to sleep with your door open. Proper air regulation throughout your home, and in your room, while you’re sleeping. Hearing little children at night in case they wake. Listening for anything mysterious, possibly break-ins or something going wrong with your appliances. But none of those reasons can live up to the devastating reason why you should be closing your door at night: Surviving a house fire. It’s actually one of the key fire safety tips you need to know. It’s also important to know common household fire hazards including the most overlooked fire hazard in your home to prevent devastating events.

Closing your door may not seem like a big deal, but in the event of a house fire, it could give you more time to escape a fire at night. Forty years ago, the average time to escape a house fire was 17 minutes. However, since most furniture, fabrics, or even construction products are made from synthetic materials these days, house dwellers only have three minutes to get out. That is a drastic difference in time, and quite frankly, not a lot of time to escape to safety.

In an effort to prove the severity of this situation, the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) did a demonstration to show how closing your door could save your life. They lit a small building on fire, with one bedroom door open and the other closed. The results were absolutely astonishing.

Once the fire was dealt with, it was clear that closing one’s door is the safest bet in surviving a rapid house fire at night. FSRI made a video of the experiment, bringing in a few bystanders to watch the horrors of what could happen in a house fire, and asked each of them what their takeaway was after watching. They each said “close before you doze,” a slogan for a nationwide campaign relating to fire safety.

Close Your Door is a national campaign encouraging citizens to take a pledge, promising to close their doors at night. The “Closed Door Crew” consists of over 10,000 members. Their website shows other demonstrations and examples of why closing your bedroom door protects you, and your family, in the event of a fire.

At the end of their video, the FSRI shared some simple tips on how to prevent home fires that are very easy to follow:

  • Have working smoke alarms in every level of your home, inside and outside your sleeping rooms.
  • Have an escape plan. If you have a fire, know how you’re going to get out safely.
  • Close your door.

It may not seem like a big deal now, but when you look at the drastic differences in FSRI’s study and think about the average three minutes you have to escape a house fire, it really makes you reconsider.


The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman