A legendary NASCAR family is partnering with Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen program to provide tips on how to keep families safe in the event of a home fire.

NASCAR’s 15-time Most Popular Driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr., his wife Amy and his sister Kelley Earnhardt-Miller are encouraging everyone to create a home fire escape plan and practice it on National Home Fire Drill Day, which is Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. For tools and tips to create a home fire drill for your family, visit www.makesafehappen.com or download the Make Safe Happen app.

“Kelley, Amy and I are teaming up with Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen Program because we know just how important home fire safety is,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr. “Home fire escape plans are easy to put together and practicing them can be fun, especially when the kids are involved. More importantly, the drill helps to imprint on everyone’s mind what they need to do if a fire breaks out in their home.”

“Protecting people is a key mission for Nationwide and we’re so thankful to have the Earnhardt family partner with us to raise awareness for this important topic,” said Jennifer MacKenzie, senior vice president of Marketing for Nationwide. “Having Dale, Kelley and Amy on board will help us spread the home fire safety message to families everywhere.”

Dale and Kelley are no strangers to the danger of home fires. When they were young, their mother’s home in Virginia was completely destroyed by a fire. While the family was able to escape to safety, almost all of their belongings were destroyed. The event completely changed their living situation, and Dale and Kelley went from living with their mom to moving in with their dad in North Carolina.

That experience has made them keenly aware of the importance of knowing how to get out of a home in under two minutes once a smoke alarm goes off.

“Seven out of 10 structure fires happen in a home – not at a business, not at school, but in the home. So that home fire drill is really important,” said Kelley Earnhardt-Miller. “Seven out of 10 families don’t have a fire escape plan. Dale and I didn’t have a plan when we were young. Now that we’re parents ourselves, we want to make sure that families are prepared in the event of a fire.”

As new parents, Dale and Amy realize the importance of making sure kids know how to get out of a burning home quickly and safely. They also understand that fires are scary and that practicing a fire escape plan can help ease those fears.

“Parents need to go over the plan with their kids because you don’t know how children are going to react when that smoke detector goes off,” said Amy Earnhardt. “They may try to hide under the bed, or they may be concerned about grabbing their favorite toy or their pet. You want you and your kids to know how to get out of the house once they hear the alarm so it’s not a panic situation.”

Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen Program offers the following tips for creating and practicing a home fire escape plan:

Draw out the plan as a family

Draw out a floor plan of your home, marking the doors and windows
Have two ways out of every room
Identify a safety spot outside where everyone should meet
Mark the locations of smoke alarms
Assign an adult to help young children or anyone needing assistance

Practice getting out of your home when the alarm starts

Practice getting out of the home and to the safety spot in less than two minutes
Get out and stay out. Do not go back in to a burning home
Leave everything behind
Stay low to avoid smoke
Practice your plan twice a year
Practice your plan during the day and night

Use the Make Safe Happen App to practice

More information and resources – including games, tools, and more – are available on the Make Safe Happen web site.

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