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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Nationwide Insurance. The opinions and text are all mine.

Every year, our daughter’s preschool has a fire drill at school and Allie would come home telling me that they “practiced fire.” I knew just what she meant. Every year they had a fireman come into their school to talk about fire safety.

A split screen of a little girl wearing a paper firefighter hat and the other is a real firefighter in his uniform.

At the school that our older kids go to, they do the same thing.

I’m glad that our kids will be prepared at school. I’m glad that YOUR kids will be prepared at school, since all 50 states plus the District of Columbia require that fire drills take place in schools, sometimes as often as once per month.

However, the scary statistic happens at home. Nationwide found that only 47% that were surveyed created a fire escape plan with their child/children. The reason this is scary is because home fires are the biggest disaster threat facing American families today. Only 55% of parents say that their kids would know what to do? Today- we are going to change that.

Since 9 in 10 structure fires actually occur in the home (according to the National Fire Protection Association), and more than 8 in 10 fire-related deaths result from home fires (according to Safe Kids Worldwide), it is so important to be sure that our kids are ready. We teach them not to take candy from a stranger, not to swim without an adult, not to ride a bike without a helmet. It’s time that we teach them what to do when a fire danger occurs.

According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one home fire was reported every 86 seconds in 2015.

Today, I am partnering with Nationwide for their Make Safe Happen program, I wanted to share some ideas that I’d like to share with you (that we do at home).

1- Download the Make Safe Happen app – It has all sorts of tips to help keep children as safe as possible, including room-by-room, age-by-age tips. It even includes a 2-min timer to practice home fire drills against the clock.

2- We change the smoke alarm batteries in the house (10 total) and we change the CO2 detectors at least once a year, but we check them every month. An easy way to remember this is to do it on the 1st of every month. Start it on the first of the next month. Make it a habit and teach your children so that it will be a habit for them when they have their own house one day (and their own children).
We completely change them twice a year, too. Mickey has his own rule that the alarm batteries get changed every year when the clocks change for “Fall back” and “Spring forward”.

3- Have an exit plan. (We also have fire extinguishers in our house – one in the kitchen and one upstairs in the laundry room) and fire escape ladders in our kid’s bedrooms that are not on ground level.
You can grab this printable here:

A screenshot of a social media post.

4- Have a meeting spot & practice going there. Once everyone gets to the safety spot, stop the timer. If you all made it in under two minutes, do something special as a family. If you don’t make it out in two minutes, do it over & over again until you find a plan that DOES get you out in 2 minutes.

A person holding a phone as a man and two children walk out of the house with text above them.

5- Talk about what they can do if the fire blocks their exit. Our oldest son sleeps in a room that is further from the stairs than anyone else. He has a plan and we have gone over his plan often, because it scares me the most:
“Kick out your screen, jump onto the porch roof, jump down onto the ground” (it wouldn’t be a far jump).
I remind him that I worry less about a sprained ankle than losing him, so “don’t be nervous- just get out and run to the street” (our meeting place).

These are things that you can get started on today – check out for more tools, information & printables.

Pledge to practice your own Home Fire Drill on October 14, 2017 at!

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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