The Life-Saving Benefits of Closing Your Bedroom Door at Night

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.13 - 2024 2:20 PM CET

Research shows that whether you sleep with the bedroom door open or closed could mean the difference between life and death.

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Research from the American UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) underscores a simple yet crucial safety tip for homeowners: always close your bedroom door before going to sleep. This practice could be the difference between life and death in the event of a fire.

Since 2008, FSRI has conducted studies to understand how an open versus closed door affects the spread of fire within a home. Their findings reveal that closing your bedroom door can significantly increase your chances of survival by containing temperatures and smoke.

Temperature Control

The studies indicate that in the event of a fire, a closed bedroom door can drastically slow down the spread of fire and smoke, potentially saving lives.

"The difference was so significant that a person could survive much longer in a room with a closed door," noted Stephen Kerber, director of the UL Fire Safety Research Institute.

In fire situations, rooms with closed doors maintained temperatures around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while those with open doors experienced temperatures exceeding 932 degrees Fahrenheit.

Common instinct might prompt you to open a door to let smoke out during a fire, but this action also allows more oxygen to fuel the flames. Keeping doors closed, however, starves the fire of oxygen, delaying its growth and spread, which can provide crucial minutes for escape.

Advice for Families

For families, particularly those with young children, the practice of keeping bedroom doors closed throughout the night is even more critical.

"If you are a parent with children at home, and the smoke alarm goes off, you may not be able to reach your children’s room because of the smoke. If you close their door before going to bed – and therefore already have a safety measure in place – then you know your children can survive longer," explains Kerber.

This compelling evidence has led FSRI to launch the ‘Close Your Door’ campaign, advocating for people to shut as many doors as possible if caught in a fire situation.

Fireproofing Your Home

Beyond keeping doors closed, there are additional steps to ensure safety.

The Danish Emergency Management Agency recommends regularly checking your home for potential fire hazards, such as outdated or non-compliant electrical installations. Ensuring that your home is equipped with functional smoke detectors on every floor is another preventive measure.

In sum, a simple action like closing your bedroom door at night can have profound implications for your safety in the event of a fire. In fire safety, every second counts, and this small routine could make all the difference.

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