This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. All opinions are 100% mine.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, 9 in 10 structure fires occur in homes (every 86 seconds), yet many families don’t practice fire drills at home. In fact, according to a recent Nationwide Make Safe Happen survey* of more than 1,000 parents with children under 13 years of age, only 47% of parents have created a fire escape plan with their children.
Since 2015, Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen Campaign has been empowering parents, caregivers, and children with tips, information, and resources to help make their homes as safe as possible. Thier goal this year is to educate people about potentially fatal in-home safety risks. This initiative is supported by the American Red Cross, the International Association of Fire Fighters, and the National Fire Protection Association.
Fires can happen anytime, but as the weather turns cooler, they tend to be more common, which is why the Nationwide Make Safe Happen campaign, with members of the Make Safe Happen Advisory Council, have launched a new national observance day that will take place every October 15th – Home Fire Drill Day. On this day, families are encouraged to plan and practice escape routes to make sure everyone is as prepared as possible in the event of a fire.
Create and Practice a Home Fire Drill
The first thing you need to do for a home fire drill is to create an escape plan with at least two ways out to make everyone aware of available exits. Also, you should designate a safe place where everyone meets when they get out of the house. It should be a safe distance away but easy to get to and everyone should be taught that when the smoke alarm goes off, they are to get out of the house and meet at the safe place.
Next, because smoke alarms are your first line of defense, make sure they are installed on each level of your home and in every bedroom. You also need to test the alarms regularly (once a month) to make sure the batteries work and to make sure your kids are familiar with the sound.
Finally, run a practice drill by sounding the smoke alarm and using a timer with the goal of having everyone make it to the safe place in under 2 minutes.
Tools & Resources To Create Your Home Fire Drill Plan
- Smoke Alarm Checklist
- Create Your Own Home Fire Drill Escape Plan Template
- Take the Pledge to Help Keep Your Family Safe
- Nationwide Facebook Page
- Nationwide Twitter Page
Make Safe Happen App
In addition to all of those resources, Nationwide has created an app that has step-by-step instructions for leading a family fire drill. It includes tips, advice, easy-to-follow instructions and a timer to help ensure your family can get to safety in under two minutes. It also offers reminders for scheduling family fire drills at recommended intervals.
*The Make Safe Happen survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Nationwide between November 4, 2015, and November 13, 2015, among 1,001 U.S. parents or guardians of children ages 0 to 12 years old.