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How To Teach Fire Safety for Kids
Fire safety week is right around the corner! Use these tips about fire safety for kids, and get your kiddos prepared…not scared.
Here’s an overview of the fire safety tips you can teach young children.
- Introduce basic fire safety vocabulary
- Check smoke detectors
- Draw a fire escape plan together
- Practice fire drills a few times a year
- Watch fire safety videos
- Learn about fire prevention
- Read Fire Safety Books
- Do Fire Safety printable activities
Fire Safety Vocabulary
When teaching fire safety for kids, there are key vocabulary words they should become familiar with.
We want to make sure kids know the dangers of fire, as well as the best way to stay safe.
Below is a list of vocabulary words you will want kids to know. Sure, Dalmatian isn’t the most important thing to learn, but small children always want to talk about the fire dog. Why not use the opportunity to teach then what kind of dog is typically found in fire houses?
- alarm or smoke detector
- fire extinguisher
- fire hydrant
- stop, drop, and roll
If you would like to have a set of the illustrated words cards shown below, they are included in the Making Words: Fire Safety worksheet resource.
I love using the cards to do a hunt around the school or classroom during Fire Safety Week. It’s a great way to help them make a connection to their environment.
Check Smoke Detectors
According to safekids.org, “Working smoke alarms reduce the chances of dying in a fire by nearly 50 percent.”
I understand kids are not responsible for, nor able to, change smoke detectors themselves. However, part of teaching fire safety for kids means teaching them safe behavior.
Talk to the kids about smoke detectors, and encourage them to go home and find the smoke detectors in their home. They could do a scavenger hunt to see how many smoke detectors they have at home.
To help make sure the smoke detectors are checked, have them walk around with their parents, and encourage the parents to push the test button on each one.
When the adult chooses to test smoke alarms, this also allows the kids to hear the fire alarm sounds first hand. This will help reduce some panic or confusion if the kids ever experience a home fire drill.
Create a Fire Escape Plan
Whether at home, at school, or in an unfamiliar building, children of all ages need to know the importance of fire safety.
Families should sit down together to make a home fire escape plan.
Draw a simple house plan, marking each room, and arrows pointing where to exit in the event of a fire. All family members should know where to meet up once they exit the house.
An outside meeting place, or designated meeting spot, will become the safe place to avoid fire danger.
The more you have the kids practice the family escape plan, they will learn effective ways to quickly get through the safe escape route.
Practice Fire Drills
As an early childhood teacher in NE Ohio, United States, I am used to practicing fire drills once a month with my students.
From student teaching in a daycare setting, to teaching in a public elementary school, fire drills were required often. Again; the more you practice fire drills at school, or at home, the more familiar the kids will be with the evacuation during an actual fire.
Watch Fire Safety Videos
There are hundreds of fire safety videos for kids.
Not only is it important to show kids of all ages cute cartoon style videos to keep their attention, it is equally important to show them videos of actual firefighters suited up.
The goal is to prepare not scare the kids. The national fire protection association wants to help children become fire safe kids.
Watching a video about fire safety is great, but kids need to understand what a fireman looks like when all suited up…even with the oxygen mask on.
During fire prevention assemblies, the firemen from the local fire department gave us tips in case of a fire. Sadly, he said informed us of home fire deaths involving children. In some cases, children see a fireman suited up, which causes them to be silent out of fear. This results in the firemen not being able to locate the kids.
An important fire safety tip, or a good rule of thumb, would be to visit a local fire station to learn what to do in case of fire. While there, the firemen will likely suit up to show the kids what firefighters wear.
Families should also sit down together to make a home fire escape plan.
Here are a few YouTube videos that are great for home fire safety. There are five; one for you to play during each day of fire safety week at school.
- Fire Safety Rap!
- Get Out Alive! Teaching Children to Escape During a Fire
- Fire Safety Education Video
- Fire Safety: What Every Child Should Know
- Fire Safety Video for Kids with Steve Songs and Sparky the Fire Dog
Learn About Fire Prevention
Know that you’ve covered how to be safe in the event fire strikes, it’s also important to teach fire prevention.
Here are a few basic tips the U.S. Fire Administration wants kids to learn. Fire hazards shouldn’t be in the reach of children. The following is the safest way to prevent house fires or a burning building.
- Store matches and lighters up out of the reach of children.
- Never leave candles burning
- Don’t play around a firepit, fireplace, or stove
- Don’t plug in too many electrical cords in a small area – even when using extension cords or power strips.
- Don’t play with fireworks
- Know where the fire extinguishers are in the house (kitchen is best placement)
- Keep escape routes posted on every level of your home
- Check to make sure there is a working smoke alarm on each floor of your home. Every room of your home is best!
- If space heaters are present, make sure they are a safe distance from flammable items, and out of children’s reach.
Fire Safety Books
- Pete the Cat: Firefighter Pete
- No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids
- Big Frank’s Fire Truck
- Fire Drill
- Stop, Drop, and Roll
Fire Safety Worksheets
Last, but not least, I like to incorporate these no-prep Fire Safety worksheets into my lessons.
I created these Making Words: Fire Safety worksheets for kids to have an interactive experience when learning about the vocabulary words.
The kids cut and paste letter tiles to build the fire vocabulary words, write the word, and draw a picture. If your kiddos need a challenge, they can write a sentence rather than writing only the word.
As a thank you for choosing my Making Words Fire Safety resource, enter discount code LEARNING when checking out to get 10% off your order.
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