Shutting your bedroom door could save your life in a fire

Published: Oct. 22, 2017 at 7:58 PM CDT
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Fires can spread quickly, but one simple step could improve your chances of escaping safely. Many people have a routine before going to bed, but adding closing your door to that routine could save your life.

“Keeping that door closed basically stops that smoke and heat from entering into your room. It’s positively a life saver,” Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Brian Christiaansen said.

It’s a simple and quick step that could mean the difference between life and death.

“Before we had kids we left every door in the house open,” Canton mom, Sarah Carlson said. “We didn’t even think about it. With a newborn, every night we'd put in his secure bed, close the door every time. Then open the door when he cries, close the door when we left the room because that was one thing we were very cognizant about.”

Firefighters have tested whether leaving your open or closed makes a difference.

“In the lower bedroom, the fire temperatures at the ceiling got over 1200 degrees and in the bedroom immediately above that living room, that had a door closed, the temperature in that room never exceeded a hundred degrees. This was a fire that was allowed to burn for some time,” Christiaansen said.

Closing your door is something firefighters said everyone should do.

“Not everybody likes to close their door, especially kids. But, it’s absolutely lifesaving,” Christiaansen said.

“Kids learn what they see. So you can yell at your kids all day long and they're not going to maybe close their doors. But, if you start closing your doors and maybe just specifically tell them you know explain to them that this is for fire safety and kids will learn,” Carlson said.

Fire officials said its important to have an escape plan that you practice, as well as making sure all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working. There are many valuable fire safety resources out there for families to practice.