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Pittsford, NY 14534
phone: 585.264.0840
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© Fireproof Children /
Prevention First 2004

Please feel free to print and duplicate any of the articles

in the Newsroom & Newsroom Archive.

Why Firefighters and Third Graders Make Great Partners

Firefighter in ClassroomWhat do firefighters and third graders have in common? Together, they can be the key to fire safety education that will last a lifetime.

Kids this age enjoy classroom visits from firefighters, and are receptive to safety messages they can teach. Of course, those message need to be age appropriate. At this age, children use “concrete” thinking, and can’t really grasp abstract concepts of “what could happen if...” Their understanding of how things work is based on their own, usually limited, experience and they just can’t anticipate events they haven’t experienced.

For example, In our survey of elementary school children, all understood that one match could burn up a piece of paper. But when asked if a match could burn up a house, only three out of five children between the ages of 7 and 11 believed it could. While they could understand the simple cause and effect of a small flame touching paper, they couldn’t anticipate a chain of events leading to a whole house in flames.

It is only when children are about 12 years old that they are cognitively able to anticipate the whole range of possible outcomes of an event—both outcomes they have experienced and those they have not. But by this pre-adolescent age they can already be more cynical, less willing to engage with authority figures, and less receptive to safety education. By engaging third graders, who are more receptive, firefighters can teach safety messages that survive the transition to adolescence.

So, what can third graders learn? In Rochester, NY, the Rochester Fire Department is working with Fireproof Children to bring classroom education to third graders. The program that Fireproof Children developed for them includes the following age-appropriate lessons:

Read more.

© Fireproof Children /Prevention First 2005. One Grove Street, Suite 235. Pittsford, NY 14534

Newsroom Archive:

NASFM Youth Fire Prevention Workshops: Opening the Window
Counseling Children Who Play With Fire
Fireproof Children Participates in Home Fire Drill Initiative
Fire is Not Child's Play (Fire Chief Magazine Interview)
Fireproof Children Joins Vision 2020
Having a Smoke Alarm Isn't Enough
Wanted: Your Help Preventing Home Fire Deaths
Kids Can Be Key to Family Fire Safety
Delivering Safety
Are You Prepared?
Holiday Candles Are Tools to Use With Care
Seniors and Fire
Fire Prevention Week 2004 - Test Your Smoke Alarms
Prevention First Preschool Found Highly Effective
Fire Safe Cigarettes
Is Your Smoke Detector Working?

After the Fire is Out: The Fire Fighter's Role in Preventing Child-Set Fire

When the Smoke Detector Activates: Get Out! Stay Out!

Candle Safety: Keep Your Holidays Bright -- and Safe!