Many people keep their own or their children’s bedroom doors open while they sleep. But did you know that keeping it shut when you snooze can be the best thing you can do to increase the chances of saving your own and your loved ones’ lives in the event of a fire?

Shutting your door provides a barrier that delays fire, smoke and heat from entering the room. Those few extra seconds or minutes could be detrimental to escape a house fire. And if you’re trapped in your home, a closed door significantly increases your chance of surviving a fire.

Watch this UL video of a fire test as it demonstrates the difference of an open door during a fire compared to a closed door.

Follow the safety tips below to increase your chances of escaping a fire at home.

For the family:

  • Install a baby monitor, web cam or security camera with microphone that connects to an app on your phone if you have babies or young children. That way you can keep an eye on your children throughout the night.
  • Educate your children. If they want to climb into your bed for cuddles, make sure they close the door behind them, and get them used to closing their own bedroom doors before sleep as well.
  • Have an escape plan for the family with two or more planned exits from each room, and practice twice a year, especially if your children are young and sleeping in their own bedrooms.
  • Keep emergency numbers handy and visible.
  • Train pets to stay away from the bedroom, or to quietly stay in the bedroom with you when you are asleep so the bedroom door can remain closed, set boundaries for them.

For the home:

  • Make sure all lights – except emergency or night lights – as well as candles and stoves are put out/turned off before going to bed.
  • Install a smoke alarm in each room and hallway of the house.
  • If you are escaping from a room that caught fire, close the door behind you as you escape so that the fire is contained and you have a bit more time to escape.
  • If the fire is elsewhere in your home, close, but don’t lock the bedroom doors so that you can be rescued more easily in case you are trapped.

If you have always kept your doors open while you sleep, it is about time to change the habit. Remember to educate your household about the safety benefits of closing bedroom doors.