As parents, we want our children to feel safe. Sometimes that looks like keeping their door open to let some light in. Sometimes that looks like keeping your door open as well, so they know that you are just a shout away. While both of these things are well-intentioned, they actually aren’t the safest practices when it comes to fire safety. We are all just doing the best we can with the information we have, right? We want to use this opportunity to share an important fire safety practice that many of us are unaware of.

Keeping bedroom doors closed at night provides more protection in case of a house fire.

That’s right; it’s actually safer for you and your entire family to keep your bedroom doors closed at night. But more than 60% of people sleep with their bedroom door open every night or some nights. Fire spreads faster with oxygen, and keeping the doors shut prevents oxygen from spreading throughout the house. A closed door also maintains better oxygen levels in the room during a fire, compared to dangerously low oxygen levels when the door is open. Furthermore, in a house fire, rooms with open doors can reach temperatures exceeding 1,000°F. Rooms with closed doors will typically stay below 100°F. Finally, closed doors during fires prevents the spread of smoke, which is the cause of more deaths than actual fires.

Watch this demonstration, organized by the Fire Safety Research Institute, to see a visual representation of the difference between an open door versus a closed door during a house fire.

Knowing this, it’s important to add the step of closing your door to your bedtime routine, and your child’s too! If you feel anxious about keeping your child’s room closed at night, consider using a monitor in their room so you can keep an eye on them. If your child is scared with the door closed, plug in a nightlight, play some soft music, or figure out what else may comfort them at night. When your child is old enough to understand, explain that you keep their door closed to keep them extra safe. Tell them that you keep your door closed as well.

As always, be sure to regularly check your smoke detectors. They are the best way to ensure early protection in case of a house fire. Close Before You Doze offers fire safety information and access to more resources to keep your family safe from house fires.