Warning for parents on smoke alarm safety

Experts share advice on how parents can make sure their children are awakened by smoke alarms in their home.
3:31 | 07/04/17

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Transcript for Warning for parents on smoke alarm safety
Now to a warning for all parents out there about smoke detectors. They save thousands of lives every year but will they actually wake up your children? ABC's gio Benitez is here with new information on our eye-opening experiment. Will we like what you have to say as parent. You'll be shocked, I think. Good morning, Paula. Half of all house fires happen in the middle of the night when people are sleeping. That's why it's crucial kids know the family fire plan and wake up from those alarms. So will they? We decided to conduct an unscientific experiment to find out. We're inside a Connecticut home with firefighter Travis gullic. We wanted to see what will happen. Will smoke alarms wake up the children of the Mcbride family, Landon, 3 1/2 and Noelle, 1. It will be interesting to see what happens. Our son usually can sleep through everything. Reporter: The mcbrides have an action plan in place in case there's a fire and even included their 3 1/2-year-old. Their son knows to be up and ready to go the moment that alarm goes off. So you've talked to your son about the smoke alarms. He knows the sound. We have our plan. We actually have a fire ladder in our bedroom. And our plan is to obviously get them and get the ladder and get out. Oh, wow. So what should every family be thinking about? Making sure your smoke detectors work. Put them in the bedrooms, have them outside the bedrooms and one on every level especially near the stairwell because the smoke rises, it's going to go up the stairwell. Reporter: We rigged up cameras in the kids' rooms and have a great view using baby monitors. After they fall asleep our firefighter brings in a regular smoke alarm and set it off with a smoke device in the haul right outside the kids' rooms with their doors open. I'm nervous. He's not waking up. She's not either. When you see that what do you think? I mean, that's not good. Because you know what, what makes me think is like would we hear it? Reporter: Next we set off the family's much louder smoke alarm system. It is set up through their phone and alarms found throughout the house in all the bedroom, hallway and downstairs. Do you think they'll wake up. I do because they're in their room. There are speakers in their rooms. We trigger them and wait. Emergency, emergency. There's smoke. Reporter: 20 seconds latlater -- He is still sleeping. Both of them. I truly thought they were going to wake up. Like truly. I mean I'm shocked. Like -- I'm shocked looking at this. Still asleep. That definitely I feel would have woken me up but I guess not when it's a kid. I truly, truly thought they would have woken up. Reporter: An unbelievable four minutes later the alarm still blaring and neither wakes up. As a mom and dad, what do you feel when you see this? It just makes you think that you have -- not that you wouldn't react quick but it's kind of like you really got to react the second you hear that because they're not going to hear that. Reporter: Incredible. Research suggests more than 80% of children do in the wake up from a standard issue alarm so if parents hear it go off they need to act fast and that's the biggest advice, have a plan in place. Don't expect your kids to wake up. Yeah, well, parents already don't sleep. Now we'll never go to sleep because we know our kids will never hear it. Why does my kid wake up in the middle of my favorite TV shows but not during a fire alarm. It's called parenting. Look forward to you having children someday soon.

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