As we welcome in October and cooler temperatures we prepare to start spending the cooler days inside keeping warm. With heaters, fireplaces and candles being used frequently it is important to teach our young ones safety skills that will keep them safe whether they are at a friends house, a bonfire or simply trying to keep warm by the fireplace. Next week is fire prevention week, most schools will have fire drills and talk about fire safety. It is important to go over these skills with your little ones both at school and at home. The easiest way to start a safety conversation is through a story. Our story this week is Flashing Fire Engines by Tony Mitton a cute rhyming story about fire engines and firemen. Illustrated with bright bold pictures, it is the perfect opportunity to introduce some new vocabulary words to your little one at home and start talking fire safety.
"Big Bold fire engines, waiting day and night, Ready for a rescue or a blazing fire to fight. As soon as there's a fire alarm, the engines start to roar. The firefighters jump aboard..it rumbles out the door."
The sing song tone is delightful to little ones and helps to make a scary topic a little easier to understand. This story will help open up the lines of communication for you in a non threatening way. Encourage your little one to ask questions and point out things that they notice. Ask them questions like, "What do you think firemen use a mask for?" or "Why do they carry a large hose?" Starting a learning discussion might just save your child's life one day.
Local children's museums are also a great resource, some have role play stations where they can actually dress up like a firefighter, play on a firetruck and even try to evacuate a smoke (netting) filled room by crawling low and finding a door. We recently visited the Chicago Children's Museum while on vacation and our oldest, Kaitlyn, had a great time exploring the fire station, she dressed up, slid down a fire pole and even practiced evacuating.
By talking, visiting and role playing a very overwhelming frightening topic becomes much easier and less scary to start discussing.
After introducing fire safety and what firemen do, go over some fire safety rules of your own. Talk about the importance of never touching matches or fire (candles, fire pit or fire place) or placing anything on or near the stove. Work together to find a safe spot for your family to meet in the front and back yards if there ever was a fire. Two locations are important in case one is inaccessible. Practice crawling low throughout your house and feeling the doors to see if they are hot. Show your kids how to get out as fast as they can and go to the safe spot outside. The more you practice the better chance you have of your child staying calm and surviving a house fire.
Get the conversation started in your family with the freebie below. Just save and print the image.
Get your older children involved by having them draw an evacuation map of the house, make sure they include a map key and label their exits and meeting places.
We hope that you are encouraged to address this very important topic with your family!
For more Family friendly resources please visit: Fire Safety Tips
Check out our pinterest board for a few more activities on fire safety.
edible fire snack
grape halves, pretzel sticks and slices of american cheese to look like flames
Use old boxes to create your own fire station
Use your hand print to create a team of firefighters who can help put out the flame!