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Each year during Fire Prevention Week fire safety education messaging is spotlighted so that people, especially young children, are educated about fire prevention strategies and safety preparedness tips. During this year’s “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!” campaign, NFPA employees dropped by the Wollaston School in Quincy, Mass. and read to young students, played fun games with fire prevention themes, and shared safety tips that will serve the kids well for years to come.
Molding young minds to know what to do in the event of a fire and demonstrating simple ways to keep families safe has an enduring impact. In fact, one of the most effective methods for bringing fire safety information into the home is through children. Young children, like the Wollaston School students, absorb information like sponges, and will remember the basics of fire safety for a lifetime.
A few months ago, a woman wrote to NFPA with a success story of the fire safety education, saying that the “stop, drop and roll” instructions that her 15-year-old nephew learned in grade school may have saved his life. He recently caught on fire, but luckily remembered the steps he had learned when he was younger, and escaped with only injuries when he “stopped, dropped and rolled.”
Early educational messages often leave impressions and not only provide a strong safety foundation for families, but they can also inspire a career path for some kids. NFPA fire protection engineer Jacqueline Wilmot recalled her mother, a volunteer firefighter, always making a visit to her school and others during Fire Prevention Week and throughout the year to share her safety preparedness knowledge and passion for fire prevention – a trait that it seems Jacqueline inherited. “I was listening all those years,” said Wilmot. “We can never underestimate the power of Fire Prevention Week!”