This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. All opinions are 100% mine.
This week is Fire Prevention Week and Saturday is Home Fire Drill Day! This is a great chance for you to take the time to prepare for a home fire and create a home fire drill plan. Home fires can happen at any time so we need to be prepared for every scenario. They are more common during the fall and winter months, so now is a great time to get your plan setup and make sure everyone in your house knows what to do. Take the time to prepare so your family has it’s best chance to be safe.
Here are some facts about fires that you many not know:
- Many Americans (62 percent) mistakenly believe they have at least five minutes to escape and about 18 percent believe they have ten minutes or more to get out (American Red Cross).
- In 2014, one home fire was reported every 86 seconds (NFPA).
Only approximately half of parents surveyed (55 percent) said their children know what to do in the event of a home fire (Nationwide).
Home fires are the biggest disaster threat facing American families today.
9 in 10 structure fires actually occur in the home (National Fire Protection Association), and more than 8 in 10 fire–related deaths result from home fires (SafeKids Worldwide).
These numbers are staggering. If you work at a job outside of your home, it is really likely that you have practiced a fire drill or been informed of the fire escape plan. Why not give our kids that same benefit. According to a survey done by Nationwide, “less than half of all parents (47 percent) created a fire escape plan with their child/children”. If you are one of the 53%, sit down right now using the Home Fire Drill Checklist below and create a fire escape plan with your family. Go over it often (once a month or more) to make sure they remember and make sure you have 72 hour kits that are easy to get to in case you need them and change out the contents regularly.
October 15, 2016 is Home Fire Drill Day! Take the time to create/practice your home fire drill with your family so everyone knows and understands what to do. If your kids go to school, then they should already be familiar with what a fire drill is. They may even be able to help you create the fire escape plan. Make it fun for them so they don’t get board, or distracted while you are telling them about fire safety at home. Here is a Home Fire Drill Checklist with things you need to make sure you include when planning:
- Pick a safe spot.
- Pick a spot that is easy for everyone to get to that is a safe distance from your home.
- Make sure everyone understands that if they hear the fire alarm they need to get out of the house and meet at the safe spot.
- Make sure your kids know what the smoke alarms sound like (you can do this by testing them).
- As the parent, walk through and make sure you have smoke alarms on every floor and one in each bedroom. Here is a Smoke Alarm checklist.
- Before you do your fire, draw a rough floor plan of your house so you can show the exits and best ways to get out. If a door isn’t usable, make sure they know how to get out the window, etc.
- If you have young children, make sure someone is designated to helping them.
- Once you have gone over all the possible escape routes, have everyone go to their rooms and pretend that they are sleeping. One of the adults will “test” the fire alarm and start a timer and have everyone run the drill and meet at the safe spot you picked earlier. Work on this regularly so no one forgets (especially the younger kids). The goal is get out of the house and to the safe spot in under two minutes!
- Make sure everyone understands that whoever gets to the safespot first needs to call 911 in the case of a real fire.
In a survey done by Nationwide “Nearly 7 in 10 parents (69 percent) think they could do more to keep their child/children safe in their home”. Let’s be more than a statistic! Let’s keep our kids and families safe. Here are some fun game ideas to help you get them to practice the fire drill:
- Most commercial breaks are about 2 minutes long. Practice a fire drill during a commercial break. You can pick a fun reward if you want like a treat or an extra show if they do it in time.
- Practice your home fire drill at night with the lights out. They need to know how to get out in the dark if there is a fire at night. If everyone makes it out in 2 minutes or less, a fun reward could be hot chocolate or stargazing out in the yard on blankets.
- Make sure your kids understand to get low to the ground if there is smoke in the house. The smoke rises, making it easier to breath down low. Have them practice crawling to their exit point, and then running to the safe spot once they are outside. Again the goal for this is 2 minutes or less. A fun prize for this would be to make a giant fort for everyone to sleep in.
- Go into each room in the house and have your kids help you figure out all of the ways to get out of the rooms. Tell them to think like Ninjas. Use the worksheet to draw all of the ways out. A fun prize would be to give everyone ninja names to use for the rest of the day.
Did your family pass all the challenges? Did you think of an awesome new fire drill game? Tweet using #homefiredrillday to spread the word to other families.
I love using the Make Safe Happen app. It has so many great features, tips and even a built in timer for your fire drills. You can schedule your next fire drills and more! Take the Home Fire Drill Day Pledge and keep your family safe. Spread the word to others so we can all be prepared. I would love to hear your Home Fire Drill ideas and how your family prepares for fire safety.