Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen program, Nationwide member and spokesperson Dale Earnhardt Jr., his wife Amy and his sister Kelley Earnhardt-Miller are encouraging everyone to create and practice home fire drills.
“Kelley, Amy and I are teaming up with Make Safe Happen because we know just how important home fire safety is,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr. “Home fire escape plans are easy to put together and practicing them can be fun, especially when the kids are involved. More importantly, the drill helps to imprint on everyone’s mind what they need to do when a smoke alarm goes off.”
Dale and Kelley are no strangers to the danger of home fires. When they were young, their mother’s home in Virginia was destroyed by a fire. While the family escaped safely, almost all their belongings were destroyed. The event completely changed their living situation, and Dale and Kelley went from living with their mom to moving in with their dad in North Carolina.
As new parents, Dale and Amy realize the importance of making sure kids know how to get out of a burning home quickly and safely. They also understand that fires are scary and that practicing a fire escape plan can help ease those fears.
“Parents need to go over the plan with their kids because you don’t know how children are going to react when that smoke detector goes off,” said Amy Earnhardt. “You want you and your kids to know how to get out of the house once they hear the alarm so it’s not a panic situation.”
Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen Program offers the following tips for creating and practicing a home fire escape plan:
Draw out the plan as a family
- Draw out a floor plan of your home, marking the doors and windows
- Mark two ways out of every room
- Identify a safety spot outside where everyone should meet
- Assign an adult to help young children or anyone needing assistance
Practice getting out of your home when the alarm starts
- Sound the Smoke alarm so children know what they sound like and what they mean
- All family members should practice getting outside to the safety spot in less than two minutes
- Get out and stay out. Do not go back in to a burning home
- Leave everything behind
- Stay low to avoid smoke
- Practice your plan twice a year, during the day and at night
- Use the Make Safe Happen App to practice
More information and resources – including games, tools, and more – are available on the Make Safe Happen web site.