Remember when we were kids and would have fire drills at school? I remember having to all line up at the door and then walk single file WAY out into our school’s parking lot during the drills. We’d meet up with all of the other classes and then play wait until the Principal would announce over the intercom that the drill was over and we could walk back in.
As a kid I remember just being happy to get out of the classroom and hang out outside for a little while, not really considering how important fire drills were. Later, when I was an adult and got a job in a downtown high rise, I finally realized how important those drills actually were. In fact, there was a fire drill in that same enormous building once – except none of us knew it was actually a “drill” until it was over. There was a real fear that the building was on fire and we knew just how dangerous that could be.
Recently I had a chance to team up with Nationwide for their Make Safe Happen Home Fire Drill Day. I have to admit – even with as many fire drills as we did in school and even the one I remember so well from my early 20’s at work, we don’t really have a good fire plan for the home. We’ve talked a few times about we would do at home should a fire break out, but haven’t really practiced and made sure everyone knew what to do. That is going to change.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly nine million children are treated at emergency rooms across the country and more than 9,000 children die each year due to accidental injuries – some of them being house fires. And since most house fires happen during the fall and winter months, now is the time to make sure you and your loved ones have a plan in place should anything happen.
On Saturday, October 15, 2016, Nationwide Make Safe Happen, with members of the Make Safe Happen Advisory Council, will launch a new national observance day: Home Fire Drill Day. My family and I want to encourage you to take the Home Fire Drill Day Pledge with us and run a fire drill at home with your kids just exactly the way we used to do in school. With a home fire being reported every 86 seconds, it is important to make sure you and your loved ones have a plan – just in case!
Check out http://homefiredrillday.makesafehappen.com/ to get great ideas for how to make Home Fire Drill Day fun but also learn important tips that you may not remember – like setting up a “Safety Spot” that everyone in your family knows to go to so you can easily see who is safely out of the house. Check out this quick video with some other tips:
The Nationwide Make Safe Happen Website is full of helpful tips, tools and fire safety resources for parents and caregivers. They even have a My Home Fire Drill Fire Escape Plan that you can print out to help, as well as a Smoke Alarm Checklist, so you can make sure you have the most time to escape your home in the event of a fire. You can even check out the Make Safe Happen App which has a 2 minute timer so you can practice getting outside and to your Safety Spot quickly.
Don’t forget Home Fire Drill Day is October 15, 2016 – please join us!