With more than 1200 home and other structure fires across Western Australia each year it is vital that children learn about fire safety in the home from a young age.
With this in mind, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) has drawn on the latest research in disaster resilience education to redevelop its popular Home Fire Safety program for Year 3 Students.
Developed by DFES’ school aged education team, the new program links to the WA curriculum and focuses on household fire prevention and how to respond in the event of a fire.
Firefighters across the State will visit school classes to deliver the program.
Teachers who sign up will also receive free resources and support to ensure students are better prepared to prevent and respond to home fires, including:
• knowing what to do in a fire drill;
• making choices and decisions to prevent a fire from occurring; and
• understanding the actions to take if there is a fire in their home.
DFES Assistant Commissioner, Hazard Planning and Response, Paul Ryan said the changes will provide students with important knowledge and skills to make them safer in the home.
“Research tells us that providing students with the opportunity to gain home fire safety skills is an important part of increasing their resilience,” Assistant Commissioner Ryan said.
“For example, we can teach them to recognise if items such as clothes or toys are too close to a heater, as well as what actions to take to make the situation safe.”
An important part of the program is providing students with the opportunity to complete a home fire escape plan with the adults in their home.
“After the firefighter visit, we encourage students to go home and complete a plan with their family.
“This educates not only the children but the entire family, increasing household preparedness as a result.”
Weld Square Primary School Principal Glen Cookson said he was very impressed with the recent visit to his school by firefighters from Malaga Fire Station.
“The students and their teacher loved the program - it was well thought out, highly relevant to a number of learning areas and the students were absolutely engaged with the rich learning activities,” he said.
Canning Vale Senior Firefighter John Marsh said he experiences firsthand the positive effects of the school visits.
“As well as teaching students about how to prevent and respond to home fires, these visits also give us a wonderful opportunity to work together with school communities,” he said.
“I really enjoy visiting schools and running these lessons. It’s fun to interact with the students - they have so much energy and are always eager to learn.”
To get involved in the Year 3 Home Fire Safety program and have a firefighter come to your school, visit the school education website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.