My Favorite Activities for Teaching Fire Safety in the K-2 Classroom
Join NFPA® in celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week™ (FPW). This year’s FPW campaign, “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape™,” works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires.
Did you know that Fire Prevention Week is October 9 through October 15? It’s right around the corner! I’ve been busy preparing lessons for my own kindergartners, and I wanted to share a few of my favorites and how I plan to use them in the K-2 classroom.
Why Teach Fire Safety to K–2 Students?
According to NFPA, three out of five home fire deaths from 2016 to 2018 were caused by fires in homes with no working smoke alarms. Kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students probably know that fires can be dangerous. But many of them may not know what to do in the event of a fire. Introducing fire safety to your students and teaching fire prevention may very well save lives.
Fire Safety Topics To Cover With Young Learners
Start by teaching your students the basics of fire safety. Explain to them what a fire is and what it does. Also, teach them about the three parts of the fire triangle: heat, fuel, and oxygen. I plan to explain how a fire needs all three elements to start and burn. Once your students have a basic understanding of fire, transition to teaching them about ways to prevent fires from starting in the first place.
Finally, make sure your students know what to do if they ever find themselves in a situation where there is a fire. Teach them how to call 911 from a mobile device (I’m using this 10-minute mini-lesson!). You’ll also want to follow up by inviting families to do some at-home activities. I’m sending home this Home Safety Action Plan that encourages families to make the first Saturday of each month “Smoke Alarm Saturday” and develop a home fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year. (Bonus: It’s also available in Spanish!)
Let Sparky Be Your Guide
Sparky the Fire Dog is the perfect fire safety guide for young students. Your class can go on a weeklong adventure with Sparky to uncover all the ways to stay safe from fires. Students will learn to become leaders in preventing fires by making safe choices. Sparky can help you dive deep into fire safety in a kid-friendly way. For example, if a fire occurs in a home, it is important for students to know to go outside and stay outside. This maze activity incorporates that idea along with alphabetic order practice as they make their way away from the fire to their meeting place.
More Activity Ideas
There are a variety of videos, games, and coloring and craft activities on Sparky.org that are perfect for K-2 students. Some examples include:
- Get Outside and Stay Outside!: This catchy song teaches kids what to do if there is a fire.
- Sparky’s Matching Game: In this game, children match pictures of tools that firefighters use on the job. As they play, they learn about different safety items like smoke alarms, batteries, and the different tools that firefighters use, and what each tool is used for.
- Sparky’s Coloring Pages: Invite kids to spend some time with their favorite fire dog and learn about the sounds of fire safety (and more!) at the same time.
Want more ideas for teaching fire safety in K-2? Check out all the NFPA resources for Fire Prevention Week.
Excerpted from “Teaching Math to English Learners” by Adrian Mendoza with Tina Beene. Published by Seidlitz Education, 2022. Embracing…