Lesson 4

Fire Safety


Lesson Goal:

To encourage participants to practice fire prevention strategies.

Lesson Objectives:

  • Know what to do in the case of a fire.
  • Demonstrate what to do if someone catches on fire.
  • Understand the danger of smoke and the importance of smoke detectors.


Content Standards Addressed:

Common Core State Standards

National Standards


Contrary to what many believe, flames are not the most harmful part of a fire. Smoke is the deadliest. This is the main reason that smoke detectors are needed in the home. Smoke detectors should be centrally located on each level of the home and checked regularly.

Smoke travels much faster than the flames. People have four to seven minutes to get out of a burning house before smoke causes serious lung damage.

It is important for people to get out of a building right away. Do not go back to get anything, not even a pet.

Burning is another important issue when dealing with fire safety. Fires can cause first-, second- or third-degree burns. It is important to know what to do if these situations occur. The chart below describes each degree and what to do in each situation.



(This lets medical professionals know how severe the burn is.)

FIRST ​Dry, no blisters. Pink or red in color. Tender and sore. Two to six days with peeling, no scarring. Immerse in cold water for up to 15 minutes or until pain decreases.


Partial Thickness

Moist blisters may ooze blood. Mottled white to pink or red. Very painful. Approximately two weeks with no grafting, slight scarring. Cover the clean area with a thick layer of a clean cloth. Cool the burn by laying a cold water bag or bottle on the cloth.


Full Thickness

Dry and leathery. White, brown or charred. Little or no pain at first. Grafting (taking skin from one area of the body and putting it on another area) required for areas over 2" in diameter, may take a month to heal, permanent scarring. Get to the hospital as soon as possible.

 Some important points to discuss:

  • Never play with matches, candles or lighters.
  • Always have an adult present if cooking.
  • Have a fire escape plan for your family. Normal exits such as halls or stairs are often blocked during a fire, so have family fire drills using alternate exits.
  • Have a smoke detector on each level of your home, and check them every month to make sure these are working.
  • If there is a fire, crawl low under the smoke.
  • Always feel the door to make sure it is not hot before opening it. If the door does not feel hot, brace your body against it and open it a crack. Be prepared to shut it if there is air pressure or the air feels hot.
  • As you leave each room, shut doors behind you. It usually takes a fire 10 to 15 minutes to burn through a door. So, by shutting each door, you are helping slow the fire's progress.
  • Alert the rest of the your family by a prearranged signal - a whistle, a shout, a pound on the wall, etc.
  • Do not hide during the fire; get out of the house as soon as possible.
  • Keep calm! Panic can be your enemy.
  • Never go back into a burning building to get anything, not even a pet.
  • If you catch on fire, remember to stop, drop and roll.
  • Make sure you or someone else calls the fire department. Dial 911.
  • After you have gotten out of your home, go to a neighbor's house to report the fire. Call 911.
  • When reporting a fire, remember to give your name and address. Tell what is on fire and if anyone is in the building. It is important to wait to answer any questions the fire department may have.
  • If you are trapped in a building, go to a window and signal with a flashlight or yell and wave a piece of clothing to attract attention.
  • Be sure your bedroom door is closed before you open the window. Stay by the window where the firefighters can see you.
  • Take short, shallow breaths instead of gasping for air or trying to hold your breath. If you can, hold a wet cloth against your nose.


Fire Safety in Other Places

  • Picnics: Remind grown-ups to keep the can of liquid fire starter away from flames and heat.
  • Camping: The campfire is not a play area. Let an adult take care of the fire. Use only a flashlight inside a tent or camper.
  • Tall Buildings: If you hear a fire alarm, look for the sign that says Stairs or Exit. Go down the steps as quickly as possible. Do not use the elevator.
  • School: Leave quickly. Follow your teacher's instructions.
  • Hotels: Locate the nearest fire exit. Count the number of doors between the exit/staircase and your door. Check the exit doors to make sure they work. In your room, look to see how the windows work. Read fire emergency information provided.



Reproducible: Stop, Drop and Roll

1. Provide a copy of the reproducible to each child. 

2. Have students practice this safety activity in the case of a fire.

3. Have the children practice crawling low under smoke from a fire.


Reproducible: Fire Hazard Worksheet

1. Provide a copy of the reproducible to each child.

2. Read directions to all participants, telling them to identify all objects that could either cause fire or burns.

3. Discuss the children's answers as a group.


Reproducible: Hazards in the Home

This activity may be used as a homework assignment and include parents.

1. Explain that hot spots are places or things that could burn a person or cause a fire.

2. Provide a copy of the reproducible to each child. Ask children to make a list of hot spots in their homes. 

3. Bring the list back the next day and compare lists.

4. If this is not possible, the children could cut pictures out of magazines or do freehand drawings. Or brainstorm as a group to fill in the worksheet.

5. Follow with a discussion of why these things could be a danger and what can be done to protect family members.  


Samples of home hazards or hot spots:

  • Hot water - tea kettles, bathtubs and showers.
  • Heaters - electric or kerosene, radiators.
  • Grills - charcoal, gas, electric.
  • Fireplaces.
  • Electric appliances - irons, coffee makers, curling irons, frying pans, toaster.
  • Stoves - (gas or electric) burners, griddles, lighted ovens, oven doors, pots and pans.
  • Candles left unattended.
  • Cigarettes.
  • Matches laying around.
  • Open containers of paint, gasoline, cleaning fluids.


Fire Safety Mentor

1. Have the children in your grade pair up with students from a younger grade and teach them about fire safety.

2. Have older children pick a book about fire safety and read it to a younger classroom.

3. Act out a skit for younger children about fire safety.


Guest Speaker

Invite a representative from the local fire department to come and speak with the students about fire safety.


Fire Safety Bulletin Board

1. Have the students design a fire fact bulletin board for fire safety week/month, and have each student research facts about fire safety. National Fire Prevention Week is traditionally the first full week of October.

2. Encourage them to use books, the Internet and newspapers to gather facts.

3. Put a new fact on the bulletin board each day/meeting.


Leader Fast Facts:

1. Children of all ages set over 85,600 fire annually. Approximately 18,900 of those fires are set in homes.

2. Keep bedding, clothes, curtains and other combustible items at least three feet away from space heaters.


Additional Resources:

Fire Safety. By Nancy Loewen. The Child's World Inc., 1997.

Fluffy and the Firefighters. By Kate McMullan. Scholastic, Inc., 1999.

The Education World website contains great information for teachers on lesson planning and fun facts regarding fire safety.