Fire Safety For Preschoolers
Ohio Township Fire Department is often invited into schools and daycares to teach Fire Prevention to young children, but it is important for you as a parent to understand that Fire Prevention needs to be continuously taught at home too!
When volunteers from Ohio Township Fire Department visits preschoolers (3 to 5 year old age range), we address four points from the Start Safe: Fire program:
- “I Spot Something Hot”
- Get Out, Stay Out.
- Family Fire Drills
- Firefighters Are Friends
“I Spot Something Hot”
The Start Safe: Fire program found that Preschoolers require a unique approach to learning about fire prevention, and focuses mainly on the “I Spot Something Hot” phrase. At the start of the presentation firefighters show children the video to the right. The video helps preschoolers identify what could be hot, to take three steps back and to tell a grownup. Common items include stoves, candles, irons and matches/lighters.
“Get Out, Stay Out”
Another important phrase for all children to learn is “Get Out, Stay Out”. Members of the fire department will discuss with your children what to do when they hear a smoke detector sounding off. It is important to emphasize to your child that when they smell smoke, see fire or hear the smoke detector that they should “Get Out, and Stay Out” of the house. Children will often want to grab their favorite toy or blanket before leaving, which highlights the importance of practicing “getting out and staying out” with your child.
Family Fire Drills
Your child most likely practices fire drills at their school or daycare, but have you practiced them at your house? Before practicing a fire drill, identify with your child a safe meeting place outside, such as a mailbox or tree. After identify a meeting place, go back into your house, hit the smoke detector test button and “practice getting out and staying out” – making sure your child doesn’t stop to grab their favorite toy first. Be sure to explain to your child that they need to wait outside until a grownup says it’s okay to go back inside.
Firefighters Are Friends
One of the last things we discuss with preschoolers is that Firefighters Are Friends. Children will be able to see a member of the department slowly dress out in their fire gear. Along the way firefighters will discuss each piece of equipment and relate them to items the children might use, like fire boots and the children’s rain boots or fire helmets and bike helmets. After getting dressed, the firefighter will call out to the children so they can hear what a firefighter would sound like while searching for them in a low-visibility situation.
If you’re wanting some firefighters to come out and talk to your preschoolers about fire safety, you may submit a request form here.