Traditionally, fire museums in the United States and Canada have been operated by firefighters and fire buffs without museum backgrounds, but this is fast changing, says Lisa Braxton, associate project manager in NFPA’s Public Education Division.
Nowadays, fire museums offer multi-sensory learning experiences, emerging as valuable educational tools that weave fire safety education into the museum experience.
In an effort to maintain their relevance to contemporary audiences, many fire museums now try to immerse museum visitors in the firefighter experience by including interactive displays and organizing their collections of artifacts accordingly. They are developing membership programs and pursuing grants. At a time when many fire departments are cutting back on their public education programs because of budget constraints, fire museums are also aligning their programming with state educational learning standards to keep their goals compatible with those of teachers.
To see how fire museums across the country have transformed themselves from static presentations of historic artifacts to dynamic, hands-on, family-focused institutions, read Lisa’s article “Hands-On History” in the new issue of NFPA Journal.
Receive the print issue of NFPA Journal and browse the online, member-only archives as part of your NFPA membership. Learn more about the many benefits and join today.