AURORA, Ill., Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Many U.S. families have a home fire escape plan, but the majority never practice it, or have a home fire drill, a survey indicates.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends planning an emergency escape route and practicing it twice annually, while other fire safety organizations promote monthly drills to improve reaction time in case of an emergency.
A survey by First Alert of 1,000 U.S. adults indicates 79 percent reported having a home escape plan in place in case of fire or other emergencies, but 51 percent have never practiced it and 29 percent have only practiced it once.
Deborah Hanson, director of external affairs for First Alert, a manufacturer of residential fire and carbon monoxide detection devices, said it's important to determine during home fire drills whether children and others can readily waken to the sound of smoke alarms. If they fail to awaken, make sure someone is assigned to wake them up as part of the drill and in a real emergency situation.
Allow children to master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. The objective is to practice, not to frighten, so telling children there will be a drill before they go to bed can be as effective as a surprise drill, Hanson said.
The survey was conducted Sept. 15-18. The survey has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.