12:44 PM

Earnhardt Family and Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen team up to raise awareness about home fire safety

Dale Earnhardt Jr., wife Amy and sister Kelley encourage everyone to create and practice a home fire escape plan for Home Fire Drill Day

Columbus, OH - 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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About Make Safe Happen® 

Make Safe Happen® is a program dedicated to reducing accidental injury – the leading cause of death among children. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly nine million children are treated at emergency rooms across the country and nearly 8,000 children die each year due to accidental injuries. Protecting child safety and wellbeing for more than 60 years, Nationwide launched Make Safe Happen® in 2015 to empower parents, caregivers and children with tools and resources to make homes safer. Together with its Advisory Council, including Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Worldwide, the Make Safe Happen® program has delivered over 5.4 million safety actions to date in 2017 with the hope of reducing childhood accidental injury and death. To learn more and take action, visit www.makesafehappen.com.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.