A half-term activity for young children

Mon 25 May, 2015

Here’s a half-term activity to do at home with young children which includes a number of key fire safety learning and discussion points.

You will need:

Read the story of Frances the Firefly to the children – this takes about five minutes – then encourage them to colour in the colouring sheet.

Afterwards, discuss the fire safety messages from the story.

Q: What might start a fire in the home?
A: Matches. Lighters.

Q: Can you think of anything else in your home that might cause a fire?
A: Leaving a candle lit overnight. Lighting a candle that is not in a proper candle holder. Toys or things too close to the heater. Leaving a pan on the heat and leaving the room. An open fire without a guard.

Q: What should you do if you find matches or a lighter?
A: If you see matches or lighters lying around, tell a grown-up. Don’t pick them up or play with them.

Discuss what you should do if your clothes catch fire

If your clothes catch fire, you should stop, drop and roll. If you see anyone else whose clothes are on fire you should try to make sure they do this too.

Stop: Don’t run around. Even though it’s really difficult not to panic you’ll only fan the flames and make them burn faster.

Drop: Lie down. This makes it harder for the fire to spread. It also reduces the effect of flames on your face and head (flames burn upwards). If it is someone  else burning push them to the ground with a coat or blanket, but be careful not to burn yourself.

Roll: Rolling around smothers the flames and puts them out by stopping oxygen getting to the fire. Cover the flames with heavy material, like a coat or blanket

Discuss how to make a 999 call

The 999 emergency number can help save lives, but only if it is used properly. You should never use the number unless it is a real emergency.

If you need the police, fire and rescue service, ambulance or coastguard, this is what you should do:

  • Call 999 from any phone – it’s free.
  • Tell the operator who you need to speak to. They will ask you some questions about what has happened.
  • They will also ask you the address, so it’s very important to know these things about where you live: House number. Name of the road – they might ask you to spell it. Which city or town and the postcode.
  • Don’t put the phone down until the operator tells you that you can.

Even though you might be scared, it’s important to remember that if you stay calm and answer all the questions, someone will be on the way to help as quickly as possible.

Make sure you know how to make a 999 call, but don’t forget, never make a 999 call unless it is a real emergency. Someone who is in danger could be stopped from getting help if there is a hoax call.