New research reveals Britons struggle to deal with an emergency

28 December 2015

Three in 10 British adults don’t know what number to dial if they need an ambulance, fire assistance or the police, according to new research 1.

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.

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.

Gail Hunter, a spokesperson for ADT, who commissioned the research 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.”

Official figures show a rise in the number of residential fires during the festive season 2 yet despite this, 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.

Gail Hunter of ADT continued: “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.

“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.

COMMON SAFETY MEASURES WHICH BAFFLE BRITS

What to do if someone has an asthma attack = 79 per cent

How to deal with an allergic reaction = 77 per cent

How to give your own blood type = 69 per cent

How to change a tyre = 68 per cent

How to do CPR = 66 per cent

What to do if a pipe bursts / leaks = 64 per cent

What to do if someone is choking = 59 per cent

What to do if the car breaks down = 58 per cent

Where to find the stop cock to turn off the water in the house = 53 per cent

How to check the oil level in the car = 52 per cent

How not to electrocute yourself when changing a light-bulb = 52 per cent

How to change the fuse in a plug = 51 per cent

What to do if you smell gas = 51 per cent

What to do if the electricity cuts out = 51 per cent

How to put someone in the recovery position = 50 per cent

What to do if the chip pan sets fire = 47 per cent

Where the fuse box is in your house = 45 per cent

How to check for a pulse = 45 per cent

How to get to the nearest hospital = 42 per cent

How to provide your own National Insurance number = 41 per cent

Who to call in the event of a fire = 39 per cent

What number to dial to call for fire assistance = 33 per cent

What number to dial to call an ambulance = 30 per cent

What number to dial to call the police = 29 per cent

How to check if the smoke alarm is working = 27 per cent

1) The research was conducted amongst 2000 UK adults by One Poll from 11.12.15-14.12.15

2) The London Fire Brigade highlighted that fires in London caused by candles increase by 38 % between November and January 2014


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