Drexel Heights Fire District provides fire safety lessons for kindergartners in all area schools of their jurisdiction. The program is based off of the National Fire Protection Association of NFPA's "Learn Not To Burn" curriculum.
There are four weekly visits to each kindergarten classroom, covering four critical safety behaviors. Each week the children begin their lesson by saying and signing (American Sign Language), a fire safety pledge. At the final lesson and graduation ceremony, the children say and sign their fire safety pledge to the firefighters.
"These lessons and the safety pledge are critical to be taught to kindergartners, so we can teach them fire safety behaviors at an early age but also so they can really remember them for a lifetime," said Public Information Manager Tracy Koslowski who oversees the program.
The first week the kids learn about "Things That Can Get Hot". As part of the interactive activity, the children have to determine items that can get hot or could burn them. They also learn the safe behavior when it comes to finding matches or lighters.
The second week, the focus is on smoke alarms. They learn about what smoke alarms sound like and why and when they will make a sound.
The third week follows up on the smoke alarms and teaches the children what to do if they hear one or if there is smoke in their home. The kids practice their safety skills thru interactive crawl low activities.
The final and fourth week is about how "Firefighters Are Your Friend". The kids will see a DHFD firefighter's turnout gear. They will learn how it protects them as the firefighter dons the equipment. Children are taught never to hide from a firefighter who is there to help them when there's smoke or fire in their home. As a reward on this final lesson day the kids either tour a fire station or see a demonstration with the fire trucks. They also will receive a plastic fire helmet and a diploma for graduating from fire safety school.
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