Want A Better Chance Of Surviving A House Fire? Sleep With Your Bedroom Door Closed

by Julie Scagell
Originally Published: 
Image via Getty Images

Sixty percent of people sleep with their bedroom doors open

As far as bedtime routines go, most people are creatures of habit. They have a side of the bed, top sheet or no top sheet, and a go-to sleep position. Another part of this routine that’s set in stone is whether they leave their bedroom door open or closed at night. But a recent movement meant to educate people about fire safety has a very strong opinion and want others to heed their warning — always sleep with your bedroom door closed.

The UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) launched a new public safety campaign coinciding with National Fire Prevention Week called “Close Before You Doze.” The message: Closed doors can absolutely save your life if there’s a fire.

According to the organization, nearly 60 percent of people sleep with their bedroom doors open. And while I, like many others, actually thought that was safer than a closed door because it makes escaping a fire easier, it turns out that’s not the case. If you still need further convincing, take a look at this:

Closed doors can help reduce toxic smoke, improve oxygen levels, and decrease room temperatures, all factors that impact how quickly fire can spread throughout a home. So, why is this message so important now? The organization explains that because of an increased use of synthetics in furniture and home construction (aka, open floor plans), the average time to escape a fire has gone from 17 minutes to just three minutes or less.

When I lived alone, I always kept my bedroom door closed and locked, because serial killers. But once I had kids, I kept it open out of habit so I could hear their goings on and for their inevitable trip(s) into our bedroom for cups of water, hugs, less itchy pajamas, or to discuss the unfairness of my not buying Nutella during our recent grocery trip.

The “Close Before You Doze” campaign aims to educate people on the dangers this can create. They recommend not only closing your bedroom door at night, but also your children’s as well for the same reasons. And as always, continue to check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure all’s working properly.

As with anything, this will be a hard habit to break — but one that can literally save your life.

This article was originally published on