Has Your Family Practice a Home Fire Drill?

October is the start of the holiday season and if your family celebrates as much as mine, it comes with a major increase in decorations. Whether it’s strings of lights, candles or plug-in pumpkins from the 80’s – combined with the fall and winter motifs of dried leaves, straw and decorative twigs that my wife can’t seem to abandon – and it’s a recipe for disaster.

With hay bales and corn stalks tied to the front of my house posing a major fire risk, it only made sense for us to take an hour on a Sunday afternoon and talk about a home fire drill.

We haven’t really had a formal ‘family meeting’, unless you count the time that ‘someone’ polished off all of my lemon-flavored thin Oreos… (We still have that filed away as a cold case, though I have my suspect.) So, fire safety happens to be the impetus behind our first gathering of significant importance, and with Nationwide’s ‘Make Safe Happen’ program’s Home Fire Drill Day coming up on October 13, 2018, there was no time like the present.

Parents practice fire drills at work, children practice all kinds of drills at school, but few people actually practice at home, where most fires take place. I know…you’re probably thinking ‘this won’t happen to me’ but last year, on average SEVEN people died in US home fires per day.

Many Americans (62% to be exact) mistakenly believe they have at least five minutes to escape and about 18% believe they have ten minutes or more to get out, but in reality, a family has less than two minutes to get out safely.

TWO MINUTES? It takes my kids like, 25 minutes just to get their shoes on.

On a serious note, through the years we’ve had several close family friends lose their homes and belongings (thankfully no people) to home fires. In addition, I’ve previously written about losing my apartment and everything I owned in a blaze that occurred while I was a sophomore in college.

With all of these factors weighing heavily on us, Jen and I decided that we were going to make this a major priority for our family this fall. No better time, especially since we’ve welcomed a fourth little one to the mix.

We started by having the smoke alarms replaced in our home – ten of them, to be exact. New units, new batteries, and each one tested and ready to puncture your eardrums at a moment’s notice.

Next, we called that ‘family meeting’ to order. We still haven’t figured out who jacked my cookies, but we made some major headway on saving lives.

As you can see, our kids had varying theories on where we should meet in the event of a fire emergency. At the beginning of this week, we didn’t have an exit plan, meeting place, or an idea of how long it might take us to execute all of it.

This was our ‘dry run’, in preparation for the Nationwide ‘Home Fire Drill Day’ on October 13, 2018. Now that we’ve confirmed that we have a winning strategy, Ava was tasked with coming up with our escape plan – which will take its place on our fridge.

Along with taking the pledge to participate in the drill yourselves, take a peek at MakeSafeHappen.com for tools & resources that can get you adequately prepped.

What else can I do or say to convince you that taking the time to prepare for the worst is going to leave you looking your best? Take the pledge like my family did. Feel confident, knowing that every beautiful person under your roof knows what to do in the event of a fire.

Let’s MAKE SAFE HAPPEN together.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Nationwide and their #MakeSafeHappen program. To learn more about Nationwide, check them out HERE, on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. And while you’re at it, check out MakeSafeHappen.com and get your family prepared!

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