4 Ways to Teach Preschoolers About Fire Safety
Thank you First Alert for sponsoring this post. First Alert 10-year sealed battery alarms offer hassle-free protection that helps keep your home and family protected for a decade! #LiveWithA10
This past week at school, my four year old had “Community Helper” week and was asked to dress up as his favorite community helper. He asked to be a firefighter, and of course I thought he was adorable, but it also made me realize that we haven’t ever truly discussed fire safety with our babes. We don’t have a family plan in place, we haven’t told our children what to do if they hear our smoke detector alert to smoke and we’ve never discussed what to do if they actually see fire or smell smoke in our home. Major parenting fail.

I got to work making a plan for our family to get our fire safety on but wanted to ensure that I approached the topic in a non-terrifying way for my four year old. I need him to be able to assess a situation and do what I’m trying to drill into his sweet little noggin and I don’t think fear is going to help me do that. I say that because as I was looking for books and videos on fire safety, I found a ton of them to be a bit…scary. Honestly, a fireman in full garb is a loud and large figure to encounter and there truly is no sound that can beat out a smoke alarm in the volume department – so I set out to make a list of ways I could have the fire safety talk with my babes while keeping education the goal over fear.

1. Get To Work
I thought it would be a great idea to get my four year old into the swing of things by helping me install our new First Alert 10-Year Combination Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm. Since this home is new to us, we wanted to ensure that all of our alarms were up to date so we’re replacing our outdated alarms with the First Alert 10 Year sealed battery alarm (hello, no replacing batteries for a decade!) to detect both smoke and carbon monoxide. I didn’t realize it, but new legislation has been passed in many states in the past year that require all smoke alarms to have ten year sealed battery alarms and our house was absolutely not up to date. We also chose smoke alarms specifically for the children’s rooms that have a voice alert that will both alarm with a traditional siren alert but will also voice alert with the location of the unit that is detecting smoke or carbon dioxide.

Total mom bonus of the 10 year battery: not late night chirps to replace a dying battery, because as we all know, a dying battery will only ever chirp in the middle of the night.

As we were unpacking and setting up the unit, I told him what the 10- Year Combination Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm would do, how we needed one in every bedroom and how the smoke alarm would sense smoke and carbon monoxide in our home. 

I also set the alarm to test so he could hear the alarm sound and prepare for it. It’s very loud for little ears, especially up close, but being able to warn him and explain to him what the sound would be before him got him prepared for the experience. Now he talks about it, how it “rattled his ears” and what he should do if he heres it again. If you think your little would benefit from specific voice commands and alerts, this particular model is going to be your style. Mission accomplished.

2. Read About It

I made a dash to find a bedtime book or two that would be easy reading with the intent of softly reinforcing all of our fire safety lessons. I settled on No Dragons For Tea which looks and reads like a real bedtime story with a strong message about what to do if you experience a fire in your home. It’s incredibly imaginative and cute, which has been perfect as Gray has asked to read it many nights in a row. If Dragons aren’t your speed, check out Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill and Pete the Cat: Firefighter Pete. 

3. Practise
I presented our son with an expertly drawn crayon map of his room and the path he would take to our front door incase of a fire. He loved that my map looked like a treasure map (I think he was being kind, I’m no artist) but it really did help to encourage him to practice the path to safety by following the map. Our hope is that with enough practice, he’ll be able to envision the map and path to the front door if he ever needs to. Tap in to what your preschooler is currently obsessed with (as we all know they’re always obsessed with something) and create a map to inspire them to practice with you – a treasure map for a pirate lover with the “treasure” landing at your designated safe spot outside, a “princess path” for your Cinderella and so on.

4. Act It Out

We are the proud owners of a dress up fireman hat or two so I put my husband to work as our resident Firefighter. He and my son walked through what to say if a fireman needed to come into my son’s room to help him. We told him what to say to a fireman (his name and that he needed help), acted out what a fireman would look at sound like and the circumstances where he should wait in his room for a fireman’s help (if the door knob was hot, flames were visible outside of his door). We also chatted about how important firefighters were to our community and how their job is to help us and keep us safe, we often thank our police and firemen when we see them in the community as a reminder to our babes that there are people who work every single day to keep our neighborhood safe.

If you’ve got a great fire safety education tip for preschoolers, leave it below!
All photography by Demi Mabry Photography