Students at Nakusp Elementary School (NES) got a lesson in fire safety on Oct. 13.
Last week was National Fire Prevention Week, and in an effort to promote awareness about fire safety among the younger students, members of the Nakusp Volunteer Fire Department (NVFD) came to the Bonnington Arts Centre to teach students from Grades 1-3 about fire safety.
Kicking things off, the students were asked if they should ever play with fire. The answer was a resounding, and rather loud “no way Jose.”
NVFD fire chief Terry Warren believes teaching young children about fire safety can be very beneficial.
“It’s been proven in some cases that little kids can save the family by waking up and getting everybody roused and out of the house,” he said. “One of the situations there is to get them used to the actual smoke alarms and the noises, and stuff like that.”
The students were shown slides of a variety of items, and had to discern which could burn them, and which were safe. Some of the items included a kettle, stove, fireplace, iron, barbecue, even a hot drink.
Learning how to safely get out of a burning building was high on the list of things to do during the presentation. Students were instructed to use their senses in case of a fire: listen for the sound of an alarm, touch a door handle to see if it’s hot, look to find the safest way out, and use your nose to smell for smoke.
Along with being shown the importance of stop drop and roll, the students were show what the firefighters look like while wearing a full suit, including helmet, mask, and compressed air tank. This was done so if they’re ever in a fire, they won’t be afraid and hide.
“We try to make sure kids don’t hide, but we sound like Darth Vader or a monster coming up in the dark, and if there’s smoke and stuff they’re going to be scared,” said Warren. “If they get used to hearing us, what we sound like and looking at us, then hopefully if we ever have to help one out they’re not going to be freaking out and hiding.”
At the end of the presentation, everyone was given a reflective goody bag for Halloween, which had an activity book inside with a spot for creating a plan in case of a fire in the home. The students can complete the plan and then submit it for a chance to have their name drawn to be fire chief for a day.