This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. All opinions are 100% mine.
When I was a kid I can remember my mom telling me about how one of her best friends lost their son in a fire. He wasn’t that old, probably around 5 years old. The fire happened so quickly and in a panic he hid underneath the bed and sadly he didn’t survive. Unfortunately this isn’t an uncommon occurrence. Fires can happen in an instant and there isn’t much time to get out. In fact, you’ve probably got about 2 minutes to escape your home in a fire. If you and your family don’t have a plan this can have dire consequences.
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. Families across the country are encouraged to practice their home fire drills, ensuring that American families – especially children – know the escape plan and are prepared in the event of a home fire.
Having a fire safety plan is so important no matter how old you are or your kids are. When there is an emergency people tend to panic and not think rationally so if you have practiced a plan most likely you will just gravitate towards that plan to get to safety. For kids you can make having a fire safety plan fun. There are some great ideas on the Home Fire Drill Day Website including the ones I have mentioned below. Offer incentives or prizes such as staying up late together for pajama movie night, if everyone aces your home fire drill.
Home Fire Drill Day Games
Commercial Break For It
Kids watch TV on Saturdays, and commercial breaks are about two minutes long. What a coincidence – that’s how long it should take you to safely escape your home in a fire. So let’s practice fire drills during commercial breaks. The challenge: Can your family get from the TV to the safety spot in under two minutes?
Prize: Beat the challenge and get to watch an extra TV show before bed.
Ready, Set, Speedwalk!
How fast can your family get to the safety spot without running? Race against the two-minute timer to speedwalk from your bedrooms to the safety spot. Want to raise the stakes? Get there in less than one minute. But no running.
Prize: Under two minutes? Breakfast for dinner. Under one minute? Ice cream for dessert.
It’s important to know how to escape if the smoke alarm goes off at night. Can you get out in under two minutes…in the dark? Practice your home fire drill at night, with all the lights turned off. If everyone makes it to the safety spot in two minutes or less, it’s a win. Recommended for kids over 6.
Prize: Stargaze in your yard on blankets, or tell ghost stories inside, with mugs of hot chocolate.
Get Low And Go
You can walk out of your home in two minutes. But can you crawl out? If there’s smoke, you’re supposed to stay low. So practice escaping on all fours from different rooms in your home. When you get outside, get back on your feet and dash to your family’s safety spot. Recommended for kids over 6.
Prize: If the family makes it in two minutes, everyone gets to sleep in a pillow fort.
The Biggest Ninja
Everyone in your family needs to know all the ways out of each room in your home. Challenge your family to think like ninjas. Whoever can identify the most ways out of every room is the Biggest Ninja. Ninja wisdom: Not every exit is a door.
Prize: For the rest of the day, everyone gets to go by ninja names.
I really encourage you to come up with your own fire plan for your family and practice with them. After you are down make sure you spread the word to family, friends and neighbors and challenge them to take a pledge to do the same.