My older son has a fire safety drill at school today and my younger son’s class field trip to the firehouse is next week, which is my personal reminder that it’s time to test our home smoke alarms.
In fact smoke alarms are once again the theme of this year’s National Fire Prevention Week, and there are good reasons why.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics show that three of every five residential fire deaths in the United States result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
And almost 40 percent of fire fatalities that occur in the U.S. are in homes with no smoke alarms.
Being prepared in the event of a home fire is also critical.
Despite the fact that nine in 10 structure fires occur in the home, a recent survey by Nationwide found that only one in five parents regularly practice fire escape plans at home.
Nearly half of all parents surveyed (45 percent) also report that their children do not know what to do in the event of a home fire.
To raise awareness of this issue and encourage families to be more prepared, tomorrow Nationwide is launching Home Fire Drill Day as part of its Make Safe Happen program.
What can you do?
First, know where to go. Pick a safety spot that’s near your home and a safe distance away. Explain to your kids that when the smoke alarm beeps they need to get out of the house quickly and meet at that safety spot.
Test your smoke alarms with your kids so they know what they sound like. Then, do the drill and see if you can all make it out of the house to the safety spot in under two minutes. If not, do it again.
As Nationwide says: “We do fire drills at school. We do them at work. Now, let’s do them at home.”
Sounds like a plan.
The Insurance Information Institute has facts and statistics on fire losses here.