According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire departments respond to roughly 370,000 home structure fires per year. The majority of home fires start inside the home, yet, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. In an effort to raise awareness for preventing home fires, LEGO® CITY and the NFPA announced a partnership today aimed at encouraging families to take measures to both prevent and plan for fire emergency.
“Education is a valuable fire prevention tool and we’re always looking for new ways to engage families about fire safety,” said NFPA spokesperson and active firefighter, Joe Molis. “We know that role play is a key preparation tactic for children and adults alike, and so we are excited that we can leverage the iconic LEGO CITY play theme with its fire trucks and firefighters to help bring life-saving tips to life in a fun way.”
Through the partnership, both parent- and child-oriented fire prevention tips have been developed and are being distributed nationally in several ways. Parents can begin a family conversation about fire safety today by downloading tips from www.BuildTogether.com and can continue the conversation by participating in various events across the country this weekend:
- Boston Fire Museum: a large-scale community building event on Saturday, October 5 kicks off Fire Prevention Week by bringing the local community together at the Boston Fire Museum to learn prevention tips from the Boston Fire Department and the NFPA. Families can also help a LEGO Master Builder assemble a larger-than-life Fire Department shield from LEGO bricks and see other larger-than-life fire-themed LEGO CITY models. Museum hours and location can be found here.
- Home Depot: families who participate in the monthly Kids Workshop on Saturday, October 5 will receive NFPA and LEGO CITY fire prevention tips and a small, complimentary LEGO CITY building set, while supplies last. Workshop information and registration is available here.
- Pottery Barn Kids: families who visit their local Pottery Barn Kids store on Sunday, October 6 will receive NFPA and LEGO CITY fire prevention tips and a free LEGO CITY mini firehouse model to build and add to their LEGO CITY collection. Space is limited and RSVP is required. Event information can be found here.
- Local firehouse: Firehouses across the country also have access to NFPA and LEGO CITY materials, so families can continue building their safety plan and learn more about local community programs by contacting their local stations.
Sample tips that the NFPA and LEGO CITY are offering include:
- Build the Foundation–Since fire safety can be a serious topic, help your child feel more comfortable by working with them to construct your home out of a familiar medium such as LEGO bricks – addressing fire safety issues as you go. Point out that they should build and identify two ways out of each room, and that all doors and windows should open easily with a clear path for safe exit.
- Find a Safe Place–Every fire evacuation plan should include a safe place to meet, like a tree, lamppost or neighbor’s porch, so your whole family can respond quickly to smoke alarms or other warning signs. Help children remember where that spot is by building it on their plan.
- Practice You Fire Safety Plan–Act out your fire safety plan at least twice a year. This helps remind your child about the importance of things like keeping all exits clear and obstacles and helps to build confidence if they are ever faced with an emergency.
- Be a Good Fire Chief–Being a good fire safety role model is as simple as practicing daily safety measures in front of your children. Things like ensuring there is an adult in the kitchen while food is cooking, storing matches and lighters out of the reach of children are a good start.
- Make Home Inspections Fun–Visit Sparky.org and print out the “Sparky’s Home Safety Checklist” under ACTIVITIES. Walk through your home with kids, marking off the checklist. Involving the whole family in this regular activity ensures that everyone is prepared and on board with your fire safety procedures.
“Preparing for and actively preventing fire emergencies should be a family affair where everyone knows the game plan,” said Michael McNally, brand relations director for LEGO Systems, Inc. “Finding ways to introduce potentially scary topics to children can sometimes be difficult, which is why we’re thrilled to partner with the NFPA to show families how creative building and role play can be a great way to engage and educate children to think about fire prevention.”Tagged with tED