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Why fire departments are urging you to sleep with your bedroom door shut

"The photos below are a great example of the importance of keeping bedroom doors closed while sleeping," a fire department posted.

First responders hope a powerful side-by-side image will change your mind about sleeping with the bedroom door open.

Exhibit A: The Cold Spring Harbor Fire Department (near New York City) shared images of the same door. On the one side, the door is completely black from a fire, charred and burned. In the other photo, the door looks almost untouched except for a few black smears around the door frame. 

The images show how the closed door protected the bedroom when flames broke out.

"We absolutely encourage families to close their doors, it keeps occupants safer, there is less of a risk of the fire spreading," Corey Dierdorff with Pasco County Fire Rescue said. "That coupled with smoke detectors is a family's best bet in case of a fire."

In other words, simply shutting the door can save the entire bedroom and everyone inside.

"You are two times more likely to survive a house fire with smoke alarms, that coupled with closing your door can help keep a fire from spreading," Dierdorff explained. "It's absolutely amazing to compare with doors open and closed during fires. It's a stark difference." 

Dierdorff says the key is not just keeping residents and pets away from the fire but also from the smoke. 

"Preventing the spread of smoke is key, people die from carbon monoxide from the smoke more so than from the fire," Dierdorff said. 

He says that it's important for people not just to keep doors closed when they're home and while they're sleeping but also while they're gone. 

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