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

Updated: Mar. 02, 2023

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.

There are plenty of good reasons to sleep with your bedroom door open. It ensures proper air regulation throughout your home at night. It lets you hear little children if they awaken and listen for anything mysterious, like break-ins or something going wrong with your appliances.

But none of those supersede the most important reason for closing your bedroom door at night: Surviving a house fire. It’s actually one of the key fire safety tips you need to know.

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 the flames.

Forty years ago, the average time to escape a house fire was 17 minutes. Now, with most furniture, fabrics and even construction products made from synthetic materials, it’s down to three minutes. That’s not a lot of time to get to safety.

Recently, the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) shot a video demonstrating how closing your door could save your life. They lit a small building on fire, leaving one bedroom door open and another closed. The results were astonishing. Fire swept through the bedroom with the open door, but the closed door held off the flames.

Courtesy of UL FSRI/Vimeo

FSRI brought in a few bystanders to watch what could happen in a house fire. After the fire was extinguished, they were asked what they took away from it. Each said, “Close before you doze” — a slogan for a nationwide campaign relating to fire safety.

The Close Your Door initiative encourages people to take a pledge to close their doors at night. The “Closed Door Crew” consists of thousands of 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 the video, the FSRI shared some easy-to-follow tips:

  • Place working smoke alarms in every level of your home, inside and outside your sleeping rooms.
  • Have an escape plan. This way, if there’s a fire, you know how to get out safely.
  • Close your door.

When you look at the drastic differences in the FSRI’s study and consider how quickly a fire moves, it makes sense.