The research*, part of an annual programme by Ageas to help people avoid the risks leading to the most typical claims, shows that as many as 11.5 million parents (86%)** in Great Britain have not run through a fire-drill with their children to show them what to do in the event of a fire in the home.

The research also shows that many households do not follow basic safety procedures to reduce fire risks within the home. Just over half of adults (25 million) in the UK do not keep hallways and exits clear of obstacles such as bikes, toys and skateboards which could hamper an emergency escape.

One in two (25 million) adults in the UK do not check their fire alarms regularly to make sure it has working batteries, leaving half the UK’s adult population at greater risk of smoke inhalation.

Things aren’t all bad, the research also found that four in ten adults - 21 million, keep their bedroom door closed while in bed. Experts suggest that closing the bedroom door while in bed can keep a fire at bay for vital extra minutes.

David Quick, Managing Director of CETA, Ageas insurance broker, Oxford, said: ‘Obviously no one wants a fire in their home, but preparing for the possibility is not only sensible but can be made fun and educational for children. And of course, taking measures to avoid fires in the first place is key to never having to put an escape plan into action’.

Mark Cliff, Managing Director of Ageas Insurance said: ‘Of course preventing a fire is paramount, but this research shows that more people need to be aware that simple steps can make the difference when faced with a fire at home. If children know what to do in the event of a fire, then they are more likely to help speed up the process of evacuation’.

A guide on how to help reduce the risk of fire, carry out a fire drill and work with children to create a fire exit strategy has been prepared by Ageas and is available for brokers to download for their customers free from the Ageas

* 2052 GB adults aged 18 and over were interviewed online by Populus between 3rd to 5th June. 28% had children under 18

**Extrapolated data based on 47,754,200 adults (over 18) in Great Britain  Office National Statistics