Most U.S. parents think their children will know what to do in case there's a fire at home, but the kids aren't so sure, according to a new survey published by Liberty Mutual Insurance and the International Association of Fire Fighters.
Fifty-four percent of parents say they've developed a fire safety plan in the past year, but only 36 percent have actually walked through their home with their family to identify fire hazards. Only 40 percent of children say they've ever practiced a home fire drill.
Although 79 percent of parents say their family has a safe meeting spot to gather outside their home after an emergency, 32 percent of children cannot confirm where it is.
''More than 3,000 people die each year in structure fires in North America, and we need to do everything we can to reduce that number,'' International Association of Fire Fighters General President Harold Schaitberger said in a press statement. ''Having an escape plan to get your family out of a home during a fire and making sure everyone knows the escape route is crucial.''
It can take only 30 seconds for a flame to become a major fire and two minutes from the time a smoke alarm sounds until the primary escape route is impassable.
Among children who have practiced an escape plan, 84 percent are confident that they can get out of any room in their house during a fire emergency and 90 percent know how to get to the family meeting spot outside the home, according to the survey.
Liberty Mutual and the International Association of Fire Fighters are calling for families to prepare and practice a home fire safety plan.
''Practice doesn't just make perfect, it can mean the difference between life and death,'' Tom Harned, a Liberty Mutual fire safety expert and the chief fire officer in Gilbertsville, Pa., said in a press statement.