Less than half of South East ‘check fire alarms’

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Less than half of people in the South East regularly check their fire alarms, according to new research.

Only 23 per cent of people in the region have a fire exit plan in case of an emergency and only 14 per cent have a spare duvet or mattress in case of a fire according to fire and security company ADT.

The firm also found three in 10 British adults don’t know what number to dial if they need an ambulance, fire assistance or the police.

A study of 2,000 adults reveals that there is an absence of knowledge when it comes to what to do in an emergency to ensure the safety of themselves and others.

ADT spokesman Gail Hunter said: “We are surprised by the findings of this research as householders should be prepared for emergencies that can take place at any time.

“Unfortunately, people don’t often think it could happen to them but ensuring that you and your family have safety precautions in place and basic knowledge of what to do if there is an emergency by visiting the NHS website, could help to save lives.”

Millions of Brits have been exposed as being unsure of how to carry out basic tasks around the home such as checking if the smoke alarm is working, what to do if the electricity goes off, and who to call if they can smell gas.

In addition, baffled Brits are unsure what to do when it comes to crucial first aid skills such as putting someone in the recovery position, checking for a pulse, and how to react if someone has an asthma attack. Nearly half also think they would feel panicked, nervous and stressed in an emergency situation.

Official figures show a rise in the number of residential fires during the festive season yet the survey found a third of adults have no idea how to tell if the smoke alarm is working or not, while 41 per cent don’t know who to call in the event of a fire.

Worryingly, over half of those questioned don’t regularly check that their fire alarms are working while one in 10 think that testing them twice a year is enough.

“For many people, the festive season is a time to enjoy the company of friends and loved ones but with the increased use of fairy lights, decorations and candles, accidents do happen, despite warnings from our emergency services,” Ms Hunter said.

“Ensuring candles are out, keeping decorations away from lights and heaters and avoiding leaving cooking unattended can all help to reduce the risk of fire.

“A round the clock monitored fire system, like the one offered by ADT, will alert the fire brigade immediately if a fire starts, which ensure peace of mind.

“It is important that in the event of a fire you have a planned emergency escape route, you should also have a fully stocked first aid kit and be are able to perform basic first aid.”

Most importantly make sure you keep emergency numbers in a safe place where you can access them quickly and easily.

Research has shown the majority of fire deaths in London happen when there is a delay in people dialling 999.

By putting all of these precautions in place you are ensuring the safety of you and your loved ones. “

Other safety measures around the home which bewilder many adults include what to do if a pipe bursts, where to find the stop cock to turn off the water and how to change a lightbulb or fuse in a plug.

The survey also found that medical hazards which would leave respondents completely puzzled include what do if someone had an allergic reaction (77 per cent) or what to do if someone is choking (59 per cent).

While seven in 10 Britons have no idea what their own blood type is and so would be unable to inform a medical expert if needed, while 41 per cent don’t know their own National Insurance number.

The car is also a cause for confusion, as 68 per cent of people don’t know how to change a tyre, 58 per cent wouldn’t know what to do if they broke down and 52 per cent don’t know how to check oil levels.

Two thirds of those polled believe they are pretty savvy when it comes to their own basic safety, although 45 per cent don’t think they have the basic skills required to deal with a home fire, while 55 per cent feel unable to cope with a break in.

A health emergency would leave 64 per cent of adults in a pickle, while 58 per cent wouldn’t feel able to cope with a car or vehicle breakdown.

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