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10/26/2012 - Many families have not performed fire drills

Many families have not performed a fire drill.

A surprisingly large percentage of Americans have not practiced a home fire safety drill with their families, a new survey finds.

According to the International Association of Fire Fighters, even though fires in the U.S., on average, occur once every 23 seconds, nearly half of parents with children say they have not performed a fire drill with their kids before.

Harold Schaitberger, general president of the IAFF, was taken aback by the findings, indicating that families need to take the risk of fire more seriously.

"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," Schaitberger. "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."

Though homeowners insurance can protect families' belongings, nothing can replace the loss of a loved one. Safety officials strongly encourage homeowners to perform fire safety drills regularly so everyone knows how to get out of the house as quickly as possible.

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