Survey: Majority Of Families Unprepared For Home Fire Emergencies

The national nonprofit Home Safety Council (HSC) has released new national survey results revealing that only 37 percent of respondents have taken any actions at home to prevent fires and burns -- the third leading cause of injury-related death in the home.

When asked about fire safety practices, a mere 13 percent of respondents said they have planned and practiced a family fire drill -- an essential step that increases the ability to respond quickly and appropriately in the event of a fire. While the majority of fatal fires happen at night, HSC also found that only half of those surveyed (51 percent) have installed smoke alarms in their bedrooms. Additionally, only eight percent of respondents live in a home protected by fire sprinklers.

"Unfortunately, our research indicates that too many families don't understand or appreciate the danger of home fires and as a result, have not taken even the most basic steps to prepare for a fire emergency," said Meri-K Appy, president of the Home Safety Council. "With less than three minutes to escape if a fire occurs, every home needs a well-rehearsed escape plan and working smoke alarms. They are critical to saving lives."

The Home Safety Council is also a strong advocate for increased installation of home fire sprinkler systems, which will put out or keep the fire small until the fire department arrives.

With recent research revealing that 41 percent of adults do not know that fire sprinklers are a safety option for their home, HSC is working to raise awareness for this life-saving technology by educating consumers that a residential sprinkler system is the best protection from fires.

Home fire sprinklers detect the high heat from a fire and put water on the flames within seconds of a fire starting, limiting the smoke, heat and poison gases that a fire produces. Sprinklers will put the fire out or keep it small until firefighters arrive; giving residents more time to escape. Fire sprinklers also protect property and belongings.

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