October 6 is the start of Fire Prevention Week, which means this is a really good time to commit to getting your kids up to speed on fire safety tips. As parents, we all know that teaching fire safety to our kids is important, but it can be tough to do in a way that will stick with kids, especially young ones, but isn’t scary to them.
Fortunately we’ve found a few online resources that can be a huge help, thanks to our sponsor, the National Fire Protection Association.
1. Sparky the Firedog Birthday Surprise App (Android, iOS, Nook)
We always find the best way to teach young kids about anything at all is to make it fun. This free–and ad-free–interactive ebook from Cupcake Digital fits the bill.
It’s a really engaging way to teach preschoolers and early learners the basics of fire safety through stories, games, activities, coloring pages, and more. And you know how we love those coloring pages. Hey, who says firetrucks can’t be purple and orange anyway?
2. Visual fire trucks guide
We all know that kids love fire trucks, and this bright, colorful guide to the 4 major kinds of fire rescue vehicles brings it to life, and helps kids differentiate. The more kids know, the less they’ll be afraid of the loud sirens like a lot of young children are. We especially like the opportunity to explore a fire truck in detail. Plus, it will be fun to visit your local firehouse afterward, and see if your kids can identify the parts of the trucks there.
3. Sparky the Firedog video
Fire Prevention Week is focusing on kitchen fire safety this year, and on YouTube, the Sparky the Firedog video features the organization’s cute puppet mascot, Sparky, who really helps make these essential tips easier for kids to process. Kids will learn simple rules like standing back 3-feet from the stove, and only using the microwave if an adult is with you–and your head is above the microwave. (That one was new to us. Good tip!) The idea is also reinforced in this fire safety comic which you can read online or print for your kids.
4. Free fire safety printables
This entire site is filled with printables, from fun activities (like how to make an origami Sparky dog) to a helpful home safety checklist and escape plan grid that you can hang in your home. I especially like the Kid Free Zone marker, which is great for really young kids: glue it together end to end on construction paper or poster board, color it in, then help your kids measure 3-feet back from the stove so they know where to stand while you cook.
Kind of like a free throw line, only in your kitchen.
5. Fire Inspection Checklist
This one is ideal for grade-schoolers and older kids. Print it out and ask your kids to answer the questions themselves, like whether the escape route is clear of clutter, electrical cords are in good condition, portable space heaters are off when a grown-up is out of the house or asleep. It allows kids to take responsibility for your home too, and feel empowered to keep an eye out for hazards that could keep you all safe. (Plus you know how much kids loooove telling us that they know something that we don’t.)
In time for Fire Prevention Week starting Oct 6, download the FREE Sparky the Firedog Birthday Surprise App for Android, iOS and Nook, from our sponsor the National Fire Protection Association. And please visit their site for important resources for families around fire safety and prevention.