Fire service strike sounds alarm for homeowners

Article date: 13 November 2002

Parents believe it’s the family’s responsibility toteach children about fire safety – yet fewer than two thirdshave done a fire drill at home.

While workplace fire drills are commonplace, they are few andfar between at home, says a fire safety survey of more than 1,500parents, from Norwich Union Insurance published today.

With the UK awaiting news of the threatened fireman’sstrike, the study reveals a nation which is anxious about thedanger of fire yet lax about key areas of its prevention.

It shows that 45 per cent of people are more worried aboutsafety because of the possible strike.

Despite this, nearly a quarter of families have never discussedwhat to do if there’s a blaze at home while almost nine in 10have failed to tell houseguests the fire procedure.

Meanwhile only one in three homes has a fire extinguisher.

Norwich Union’s fire safety survey also shows:

  • Homeowners are more worried about fire than any other homedisaster. 60 per cent named it the biggest fear, compared with 20per cent for weather damage
  • Only 30 per cent of people have a fire extinguisher in thehome and a mere 14 per cent have a fire blanket
  • 72 per cent of people believe the family should teach kidsabout fire safety, 12 per cent say schools
  • Less than 10 per cent of homes don’t have smokealarms
  • Just under one third of householders regularly use candles athome

Jill Willis, household market development manager at NorwichUnion Insurance, said: “There seems to be a odd attitude tofire safety in Britain. We know the dangers, we fear the dangers,yet most of us are not organised enough to run through a fire drillwith our families.

“And yet, an increasing number of homes in the UK has asmoke alarm fitted. This proves that the public does respond tofire safety issues when it wants to. Clearly, people just need toextend their precautions into every appropriate area.”

Visit for information ona range of issues affecting your home.


Press contact:
Matthew Buchanan or Jane Wheeler at QBO on 020 7379 0304
or David Ross at Norwich Union on 08703 666 860

Notes to editors

  • Norwich Union is the UK’s largest insurer. In generalinsurance it is more than 1.5 times the size of its nearestcompetitor, and has a 19 per cent share of the market.
  • It has a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses. It insures:
    • one in five households
    • one in five motor vehicles
    • more than 700,000 businesses
  • Norwich Union products are available through a variety ofdistribution channels including brokers, corporate partners suchas banks and building societies and Norwich Union Direct.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases are available on the Avivaplc website at
  • A selection of images is available from the Norwich UnionNewscast site at
  • An ISDN facility is available for studio quality interviews.Call the press office on 08703 66 68 68

For all life and pensions media enquiries call 08703 66 6873
For all other media enquiries 08703 66 68 68

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