October is National Fire Safety Month! This is a time for fire departments, educators and families to join for a discussion about fire safety. Remember, it’s never too early to teach children the basics of fire safety or to build on your own understanding of fire safety best practices. Read on to learn how you can celebrate and how to teach children fire safety skills.
What Is National Fire Safety Month?
National Fire Safety Month was founded in 1922 in memory of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The goal of National Fire Safety Month is to raise awareness of fire safety in communities across America.
Each year, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) chooses a different theme for Fire Prevention Week, as a part of National Fire Safety Month. This year, taking place October 4–10, 2020, the theme is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!™” Many communities host seminars and educational sessions. Contact your local fire department to learn more about events held in your area.
How to Teach Children Fire Safety
Fire safety is vital to public health and should be taught to children from a young age. While, it can be a hard subject to broach, fire can be life-threatening, and children and young adults in your household need to be familiar with the dangers it poses and the steps to take should they encounter an accidental fire in the home
For the five-year period between 2013 and 2017, more than one-quarter of reported fires were in the home. According to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) more than 50 percent of fires in residential buildings in 2018 stemmed from cooking incidents.
Wondering how to teach children fire safety? Begin by showing them pictures of firefighters in advance of meeting one personally. Firefighters’ uniforms may seem scary at first to a small child, so it’s important that they associate the gear with a positive experience.
Additionally, engage your children in building a comprehensive fire safety plan and practicing fire safety skills in a fun and engaging way.
Build a Fire Safety Plan
Every family needs a fire safety plan. A fire safety plan is also an amazing opportunity to involve your children in fire safety. Encourage your children to go through the house with you. Point out all the fire safety features you have, including smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, sprinklers, and escape ladders.
The NFPA even provides an easy worksheet to help children map out an escape route. Once your family has settled on a fire escape plan, help your children draw a map of your home with the escape route. You can even have fun practicing fire drills.
And while you’re at it, be sure to test your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors!
Make National Fire Safety Month Fun With Fire Safety Crafts
Kids learn best through fun. You can make fire safety fun by designing easy at-home fire safety crafts!
Here are some simple crafting ideas to help you celebrate National Fire Safety Month:
- Build a 9-1-1 poster. To help children learn all about dialing 9-1-1, get out some poster board, craft paper and glue. Once your child decorates the 9-1-1 poster, help them practice the skills they need for a real 9-1-1 call: reciting their address, their name and the emergency. Remind them to never call 9-1-1 as a prank.
- Make a firefighter hat. If your child loves to wear costumes, let them play firefighter! It will build a positive association with firefighters and fire prevention.
- Build a delicious fire truck out of graham crackers.
- Practice stop, drop and roll-ing to your child’s favorite music.
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