National Fire Protection Association/Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research Study - Best Practices for Teaching Fire Safety Messages
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) contracted with Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research to conduct a study to determine the best way to communicate safety messages to children 4-9 years old. This research also sought to understand how parental mediation affects children’s understanding of the safety messages. The Executive Summary is available here.
The Take-home Messages
- Fire Safety messages should focus on depicting the positive outcomes that result from engaging in safety behaviors.
- Children learn more when parents discuss safety messages following a discussion guideline. Outcomes were less favorable without a discussion guideline.
- Study findings will likely generalize to teachers and other adults who discuss safety messages with children.
A 2011 study shows that less than one third of children between the ages of 5-15 will not wake to smoke alarms! In summary, home safety plans should not assume children will wake up to an alarm. This data suggests fire safety training needs more emphasis on the need for children to evacuate the home in the event of an alarm sounding. See the Smoke Alarm Effectiveness study, listed below, for detailed information.
For Lesson Plans and Activities: