Teaching kids about fire safety is necessary for all parents, and fortunately it's an interesting subject that most kids will be happy to learn. There are a number of resources available to both parents and teachers that can help to make learning about fire safety fun and engaging, while still conveying the serious nature of the lessons.
- Online There are some great fire safety websites on the internet that have special sections especially for children. FEMA has some good information, and Sparky the Fire Dog is an old favorite that many parents may even remember. To find more, just go to your preferred search engine and type in "fire safety kids". You'll get hundreds of pages full of valuable tools.
- Printable Games Many websites that discuss fire safety have printable games, coloring pages and other interactive media that you can print out and give to your children to complete. Make sure that the pages you print are age-appropriate for your child.
- Videos Take a trip to your local video rental store and see what's on the shelves. A couple of good titles that deal with fire safety are "Mighty Machines: Fire Engines" and "There Goes a Fire Truck". While these videos won't address all of the issues involved in fire safety, they will provide a good way to approach the subject with younger children.
- Books Your local library and bookstores will have many titles that cover fire safety. From coloring and activity books to picture books and more advanced volumes, you'll definitely discover something appropriate for your kids.
- Fire Stations If your child is interested in seeing how fire trucks work, and in meeting some real firefighters, call your local fire station and ask if they provide tours for kids. Most of them will be happy to accommodate you. Make sure you receive a list of appropriate times for your visit though; just dropping in will likely be an interruption.
- Fire Prevention Week The week of October 9th is National Fire Prevention Week. This date was chosen because it is the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, which caused a horrendous amount of damage and took over 250 lives. Check your newspaper, library, community center, or fire station for announcements and a calendar of events during this week. Kids can learn a great deal from the firefighters who will be out and about in the community, and there are always terrific booklets and other handouts to take home.
When covering the subject of fire safety with your children, make sure you touch upon all of the crucial topics that they will need to know. Make an escape plan and practice it, and ensure that your children know where they should go if they have to flee the house because of a fire. Show them your smoke alarm and let them hear what it sounds like. Use the above tools to guide you in sharing all of this vital information with your kids, so they'll feel safe and confident.