How to Talk to Your Kids About Fire Prevention

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When I was a teenager, I pulled into my neighborhood to find a multitude of firetrucks and police cars outside of my house. And it was on fire. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the damage done was extensive. I toured my bedroom a few days later to find scorched walls and most of our belongings ruined due to either smoke or water damage. Construction was long and labor intensive, and the second floor had to be rebuilt. It was another six months before we moved back in; looking back, certainly a stressful time for my parents and probably for us kids, too.

It’s Fire Prevention Week, and the Scratch or Sniff team is deeply invested in the well-being of kids everywhere. When it comes to fire and other scary concerns, I always want to find that space where we’re educating our kids about real life dangers, but at the same time, not keeping them up at night with worry. Sparky Schoolhouse is a great tool for that. The website has videos and songs, and for the tech-loving TwoKay generation, a really cool app.

We really like the Sparky and the Missing Smoke Alarms app! It sparked (pun!) great conversations about fire alarms, what to do in case of a fire and how important fire fighters are. The interactive game generated interest at first (but, of course) and then the story was a great walk through, highlighting key points and topics that help make those necessary family discussions a little easier.

Sparky and the Missing Smoke Alarms - fire prevention week

The Case of the Missing Smoke Alarms app - fire prevention week

Interactive Story - Sparky - Fire Prevention Week

Our ops manager Alayna’s four year old son, Levi was particularly into it. Look at his cute little thinky face! The game is fun for solo play, but we (my family and Alayna’s) like using it to prompt discussion about our own families and fire safety. “Firefighters have to stay safe and wear masks and other gear when fighting fires. The might look a little scary with masks on, but they’re there to help!” It’s also a great reminder for parents to do a smoke detector battery check and add a “test all smoke alarms” alert to your calendar (they should be done once a month).

NFPA fire prevention week

You can download the app and check out the other resources and materials (printables! videos!) that the National Fire Protection Association and Sparky have put together for families.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the National Fire Protection Agency and We Are Teachers. All opinions are our own.

Roo Ciambriello

If Scratch or Sniff founder/editor Roo Ciambriello could list all of her favorite things, they'd include her sweet little family, food trucks, and every AMA Snoop Dogg has done on Reddit. Roo is a copywriter out of New Haven, Connecticut, and loves writing fun stories on the backs of potato chip bags and cereal boxes in Whole Foods, Target, Nordstrom, Kroger, y mucho mas. Roo creates voices for brands, ghostwrites for celebrities, writes a personal website, and is (much to the chagrin of those around her) pretty active on Twitter. You can also find her providing commentary on advertising/branding at Adweek and eating fajitas on deadline days.

3 Comments to How to Talk to Your Kids About Fire Prevention

  1. Ugh, I hated fire prevention week at school when I was little, it gave me nightmares every year :( It’s great to see people being more aware of that line between awareness and terrifying kids! ;)

  2. I’m definitely downloading the app for our kids. My four-year-old has been learning a lot about fire safety this week at preschool, and it’s wonderful. I especially like the point about telling kids not to be afraid of firefighters wearing those big (kinda scary) masks — I never would have thought to tell them that, but it’s so true that they might be afraid of them.

  3. J.Mill

    Yay sparky! I work in in the fire protection industry and feel like I’ve seen a celebrity when I see the NFPA referenced on mommy-blogging sites. Really cool :)

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