WEST FARGO, N.D. (KVLY) New information shows that most people skip a very important step before crawling into bed.
Experts say that everyone should close their bedroom doors before going to bed in case of a fire. They say that adding the simple step to your nightly routine could save your life.
That's how long you have to get out of your house if it's on fire. Which isn't much time at all, but you can buy yourself a little more by simply sleeping with your bedroom door closed.
"We found about a 900 degree difference between the outside of a closed door in an area that's on fire and a room that's not involved in fire," West Fargo Fire Chief Dan Fuller said.
Fire Chief Fuller says people used to have 17 minutes to escape their burning homes. However, he says open floor plans and new building materials knocked that time down immensely.
"It's because of the difference in construction and then the synthetic materials that we have in our houses. Nothing's really made of wood anymore," Fuller said.
And although closing the door means closing yourself off from the rest of your family, Fuller says it's the safest option for everyone.
"You're buying enough time for us to get there and get you out," he said.
And Fuller adds that he's seen the tactic work first hand.
"There's been a ton of instances that I've seen in the past 10 years, where a hallway can be on fire or a house can be on fire. But if a door is closed to a bedroom, that room will have minimal damage to it," Fuller said.
Experts say you if you don't already, you should make it a habit to close your kids' bedroom doors. They also say to test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and make an escape plan.