Playing with Fire - More Than Half of Canadian Homeowners Lack a Fire Escape Plan



    RBC Insurance and Fire Prevention Canada Team Up For Fire Prevention Week

    TORONTO, Oct. 1 /CNW/ - While virtually all insured Canadian homeowners
have smoke alarms, only 56 per cent of insured Canadian homeowners have a fire
escape plan. This is according to a recent RBC Insurance/Ipsos Reid poll which
also found that more than half (51 per cent) of those with a fire escape plan
have never practiced it.
    "It's great that Canadians are recognizing the need for smoke alarms in
their homes, but it's troubling that so many homeowners don't have a plan in
place if a fire erupts," said Francois Boulanger, president & CEO of RBC
General Insurance Company. "Outlining and practicing a fire escape plan with
your entire family is a simple and easy way to protect their well-being and
reduce the fear associated with a house fire."
    The RBC Insurance survey confirms that eight in ten homeowners list fire
as their primary reason for obtaining home insurance. Additionally, almost
one-third of Canadian homeowners (29 per cent) do not have a fire extinguisher
in their home.
    Fire Prevention Canada statistics reveal that 78 per cent of deaths from
fire occur in the home, with most fatalities taking place while occupants are
asleep. "Our schools, hospitals and other public buildings have detailed
escape plans and rehearse them regularly. But we need to get into the same
mindset in our homes," added Boulanger.
    RBC Insurance and Fire Prevention Canada have also announced a joint
partnership to kick off Fire Prevention Week with a $15,000 donation to assist
with fire education and safety activities.
    "We thank RBC Insurance for their contribution and support," said 
David Hodgins, president of Fire Prevention Canada. "The results of the survey
confirm the need for our awareness programs and solidify our resolve of
disseminating the fire prevention message to every Canadian. Fire spreads very
quickly. Without a proper fire escape plan, precious time will be lost in
attempting to escape. It will cost lives."
    Fire Prevention Canada and RBC Insurance will launch Fire Prevention Week
with a special event celebration at the Barney Dawson Theatre in the Canadian
War Museum in Ottawa on Thursday October 2, 2008 at 10 a.m. Fire Prevention
Week runs from October 5 through to October 11.
    To highlight Fire Prevention Week and assist in fire safety, RBC
Insurance will be providing free smoke alarms, without purchase, at its retail
insurance branches. Customers can visit their local RBC Insurance branches to
receive a free smoke alarm along with personal insurance advice on how to
safeguard their property and valuables with a home insurance policy.
    For more information on fire safety tips and how insurance can protect
your home in the event of a fire, visit www.rbcinsurance.com/firesafety.

    About this survey

    These are the findings of an RBC Insurance/Ipsos Reid survey conducted
between August 5 and August 8, 2008. The poll was based on a randomly selected
sample of 2,000 adult Canadians who were interviewed by telephone. With a
sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within
+/-2.19 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been
had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will
be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population.
The data was statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and
age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according
to the 2001 Census data.

    About RBC Insurance

    RBC Insurance, the largest Canadian bank owned insurance group of
companies, through its legal operating entities, RBC General Insurance
Company, provides a wide range of life, health, travel, home, auto and
reinsurance products as well as creditor insurance services to more than
five million North American customers. Its fast growing home and auto
insurance business offers Canadians a comprehensive range of personal home and
auto insurance products through direct sales channels, including over the
phone, the Internet and retail insurance branches, as well as through group
insurance plans. RBC Insurance also offers a premier claims service, available
24/7 to help clients when they need it most. For more information, please
visit www.rbcinsurance.com.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Kerry Gaetano, (905) 816-5583,
kerry.gaetano@rbc.com; Margie McNeil, (905) 606-1425, margie.mcneil@rbc.com


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