This section introduces the topic of bushfires in the context of safety messages: What makes children feel safe? Who helps to keep us safe? It provides a foundation for the rest of the module by ensuring that all children have a basic awareness of why fire safety is important, helpful fires and dangerous fires, who a firefighter is, and the special role of the CFA in keeping people safe from bushfires. In Preparing for bushfires, children explore the work of firefighters in more detail.
Use caution in engaging children in any discussions and experiences relating to fire safety, to ensure that they feel safe and reassured and are not presented with more information than they are able to retain or process appropriately. The suggestions in this section and throughout the module should be used or adapted flexibly as appropriate for your group.
It is recommended that you draw on additional information and support regarding fire safety education for young children that is available from both the CFA and the MFB.
The MFB does not provide structured fire safety programs to children below primary school age. The MFB Community Safety Early Childhood website provides information about:
- important research into fire safety education with young children, indicating that this should be limited and handled very carefully
- Early Fire Safe, a program delivered by firefighters and designed for parents and caregivers of young children. This program is supported by the MFB and the CFA.
The CFA also does not provide structured fire safety programs to children below primary school age, but does offer:
CFA Early Fire Safe, which is an educational program aimed at helping young children understand how to stay safe around fire.
CFA Fire Safe Kids, which is a free program available to schools in CFA areas, designed to teach children about fire awareness. The program is provided by trained CFA presenters and includes a pre-primary presentation called 'Firefighters help in an emergency'.