Closing your bedroom door at night could save your life

Closing the door for safety

HOOVER, AL (WBRC) -Do you close your bedroom door when you go to sleep at night? It’s something that could save your life if your home catches fire

More people die in residential house fires than any other kind. The National Fire Protection Association says every day seven people die in house fires.

“Smoke is really the number one killer. It’s not the fire itself in home fires,” Chief Duke Moore, Hoover’s Fire Marshall said.

Changing the way you sleep at night could prevent you and your family from becoming victims. In a safety video from the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute, you can see a side by side comparison of a bedroom door closed and open. The fire starts in another room then within two minutes smoke starts to fill the bedroom. It takes another minute before smoke starts to enter the closed bedroom. Another minute later in the open bedroom, there’s almost zero visibility as thick black smoke takes over the room.

With your bedroom door closed, it’s going to give you extra time to maybe hear the smoke detector on the outside of the door. Know there’s a problem before the smoke gets in your bedroom and then at that point you can exit out a window,” Moore said.

You more than likely have a hollow core door in your home. Fire safety experts say just by closing it at night could give you extra time to make it out alive.

“If it actually got to the door, that door is going to hold the fire back typically a good 10 minutes extra minutes that you would have before the fire would be in the bedroom with you,” Moore said.

Unlike like 20 years ago, things now found in your home are made from plastic, foams and coatings containing toxins. Experts say that makes them hundreds of times more toxic when they burn. They also burn a lot faster. UL says 30 years ago, you had almost 20 minutes to get out of a burning home. Now, it’s three minutes or less.

That’s why it’s important to have a working smoke detector in the hall and in your bedroom along with an escape plan

Little things like your bedroom doors closed, that’s things that just help. But you’ve got to have those working smoke detectors to wake you up,” Moore added.

UL has more information about why you should keep your bedroom door closed here.

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