STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — A demonstration video shows the difference between a closed bedroom door and an open one after a house fire.

  • Fire officials are encouraging people to close their bedroom doors before going to sleep
  • It’s part of a national campaign called “Close Before You Doze” 
  • Fire prevention experts say that materials used to build and furnish homes these days are often synthetics and plastic, which burn faster

“Approximately every two minutes, the fire doubles in size. So, if you're at home sleeping at night and you have a fire on the first floor, by the time you're awake and you're getting ready to get out, that fire probably has doubled, if not more, and it's already coming on you,” said Strongsville Fire Assistant Chief AJ Aljabi.

It’s part of a national campaign called “Close Before you Doze.” 

Fire officials say the materials we build and furnish our homes with are changing — and so are the ways they burn. 

“So right now, we use a lot of synthetics and a lot of plastics, those fires burn fast and hot,” said Aljabi.

He says simply closing the door can give you more time and save lives. 

“They're not going to stop the fire, ultimately they will fail. But it’s the idea is that they will buy you time so you can get out or buy you time until the fire department shows up and starts putting out the fire,” said Aljabi.

Aljabi says the main question he gets about this is 'what about my kids?’

He says you should develop a plan with your kids at home so that they know when they hear that smoke alarm go off, they need to get as close to the ground as possible.

They then need to make their way to their bedroom door and feel the door with the back of their hand. If it's hot, they need to get away from it and grab either a sheet or a towel to shove underneath it, so less smoke can get in.

Then then need to make their way to their window.

“What I ended up doing, I bought my kids ladders, you can purchase them pretty much everywhere, said Aljabi. “And then we train with them, you know, you put them in a window sill. And then you just let them drape down and you figure out how high your house is, and they sell them in different lengths, and then you practice. And they practice going down the ladder and then when they get down, you have to pick a safe spot for them, whether it's a large tree in the front yard, whether it's your neighbors. But they need to know that once they're out of the house, not to go back. “

In addition to the plan, he says to make sure you have smoke alarms in every room someone sleeps in.

If you need help, you can call your local fire department. 

“Ask for the Fire Prevention Bureau. A lot of… predominately a lot of fire departments will come out and do a safety inspection for your house, free of charge,” said Aljabi.