This is post is sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association and Sparky.org.
There’s a major annual event coming up in October that you probably aren’t even ready for. It involves your kids too. You know which one I’m talking about. It’s…
It’s Fire Prevention Week (October 9-15) and I bet it’s something you don’t generally give much thought to, even though you should.
Having worked with a local fire department for almost four years, I’ve seen my share of fire saves and fire tragedies. It’s drilled into my brain to always make sure we have working smoke alarms. For other adults, it may not be first in mind.
Kids, on the other hand, take prevention messages seriously. Ask them about underage drinking or texting and driving and you’re likely to get a lecture. Start the messages young and it will have an impact. Schools know this which is why conversations with our kids are starting younger and younger.
I’ll never forget the time I was sitting my my 8th grade reading class with my teacher. This teacher was a character. She was single, past the point when most women want to be single, and so dramatic with everything she said and did in class. Even at the tender age of 13, I was old enough to pick up on her dramatics and roll my eyes every time she regaled us with a story.
Take for example the time we were in the middle of a discussion and she stopped cold in the middle of her sentence. We looked at her quizzically until she said that she heard sirens (which were faintly in the distance). She told us that the sound of sirens always made her pause because when she was a child her house had burned to the ground.
Yes, it was a dramatic statement from a rather dramatic teacher but out of the entire year, that’s one of the few things I remember from her class. At that moment, I could only think about what it must have been like to actually be a victim of a fire tragedy.
The things we say to our kids and teach our kids have a lasting impact and that includes fire safety. It’s why I’m proud to partner again with the National Fire Protection Association and Sparky.org to show you some of the resources available to get your kids thinking about fire safety in a fun and approachable way.
A Kid’s App for Fire Safety
This year, they’re introducing a great new app for kids called Sparky’s Firehouse. What’s so great about it? Well, I played it and I can tell you.
You’ll find three main games for Sparky’s Firehouse called Fix Up, Pick Up; Make Believe; and Hear That? And I played them all!
Fix Up, Pick Up
You start by having to place all wheels in order of size and then place the correct wheel on the fire engine to get moving. I placed them all in the correct order but, if I’m being honest, I placed the wrong wheel on the truck because I wasn’t listening closely to the directions. Good thing I don’t have to be relied upon for a real fire.
Then, it was off to pick up dalmatians and bones. Note: while dalmatians are traditionally associated with the fire service they are not required for fire service calls.
I also feel the need to confess that I smashed into one of the cars on the road while I was trying to pick up bones.
The next game has three children visiting the firehouse and decided which object they want to pretend to interact with. While I’ve personally never seen silly string at a firehouse, I liked where this game was going.
Did you know that fear of firefighters is a common problem when trying to rescue children? Think about the big, imposing fire safety suit, the helmet, and the oxygen mask. A firefighter can look like someone out of a PG-13 movie and it can be frightening for a small child. With the Make Believe game, kids are given the chance to see that firefighters are regular people who just happen to use a lot of equipment.
Incidentally, I did just fine with this game.
The last game is a sort of memory game based on sounds. You have to select the sounds you hear in the same order in which you hear them. No sweat.
I breezed through the first six rounds and thought Come on, make it harder. This is too easy. And in the next round, I realized that my adult brain can’t remember too much past six sequential sounds and I was out.
How did I know I was out? When you answer incorrectly, the smoke alarm sounds and your job is to hightail it out the front door. So even though I “lost” the game, I was rewarded for following directions and going outside when the alarm sounded. Win win win!
Other Resources for Parents and Teachers
Chances are that Fire Prevention Week will be covered in school. If you’re a parent, look like a superparent by working with your kids now on fire safety, downloading Sparky’s Firehouse app, and visiting the Sparky Schoolhouse website.
Even better, share your fire safety tip that helps keep your kids aware and your family safe!