Families often ask me if it is okay to keep the door open for sleep. My suggestion is to close the door completely and there are a few reasons for that:
1) It will keep the noise out of your child’s bedroom. I don’t suggest tiptoeing around when you do sleep training. Close the door and go about your regular routine! Your baby will adjust to your household noises! I often vacuum during nap time!
2) If you have pets then closing the door will keep unwanted visitors out of the bedroom. I have had a few clients report to me that sleep was disrupted by a cat or dog entering the bedroom.
3) Once your baby is out of a crib and sleeping in a big kid bed, it will keep him safe in his room. A lot of families will come to me to create a plan to help their toddler/preschooler stay in their own room and not end up in the parents room. We also want to be sure that they are not wandering into the bathroom or heading downstairs if they wake in the night.
I recently chatted with our local fire department to find out their thoughts on having the doors open or closed during sleep time.
Do you suggest sleeping with the bedroom door open or closed?
I recommend to people they sleep with their bedroom doors closed.
Why do you suggest keeping the door closed for sleep?
In a fire having the door closed will slow the spread of fire, smoke, heat and other dangerous products of combustion
Is there anything else we should keep in mind?
Make sure your smoke alarms are working!
Remember, you need to hear the beep where you sleep. If that is a problem, add interconnected smoke alarm in the bedrooms. Having interconnected alarms is easier to install today thanks to wifi.
Strobes are also available for people dead or hard of hearing.
Take a look at UL Fire Safety for additional tips and to take the pledge to close your door (I have).
Stay safe and sleep well!
Glenn Barwell, OFD Public Education Officer
Glenn has served the public with the Oakville Fire Department for 20 years. During his time he has been a Fire Prevention Officer, a Fire Investigator and for the last 4 years served as the Public Education Officer.