by NFPA's Amy LeBeau
Last week my husband took the boys to swim class. Part of every swim class is a safety tip given by the swim teacher. Usually the safety tips are about swimming, what to do if you are in the pool and you see lightning, etc. Much to my surprise the tip last week was about fire safety. My husband reported that the young man asked the kids what they do if there is a fire in their house. The answer he gave: go get a fire extinguisher and put out the fire and then go get a grown-up. Wow.
My son looked back at my husband with eyes wide as saucers. He knew that answer was wrong. Now my quandary was how to handle this situation. I printed out our escape planning and smoke alarm tip sheets and brought it to the head lifeguard. I thanked her for teaching the kids fire safety and gently suggested/asked if the swim teachers could read the sheets before they gave tips to the kids. I also strongly suggested that they clarify with the kids that when there is a fire, the correct response is to get outside and stay outside. I hope the message was delivered. Just in case, I might just leave some fire safety activities on the bulletin board!