Children and Fire Safety
Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) provides a suite of tailored fire safety educational programs for children.
Through the Fire Ed programs, FRV encourages a partnership between local firefighters and primary schools in all FRV districts.
Target age group
The Fire Ed for Upper Primary program is aimed at Grade 6 and composite Grade 5/6 classes.
What does Fire Ed for Upper Primary involve?
The program takes place over three stages that are designed to be implemented over a period of approximately three or four weeks. The three stages of the program are detailed below.
The program could be integrated into a literacy block, a Science or Health & PE unit or used as a standalone unit of work.
Firefighters, teachers, parents and care-givers all have a role in the FRV Fire Ed for Upper Primary program.
Upper Primary teachers are encouraged to include their classes in the program by:
- requesting the Firefighter Visit for their class,
- confirming a date with their local firefighters
- completing Stages One and Two prior to the Firefighter Visit
Firefighters from each FRV station aim to contact each of their local schools each year in term one to arrange the Fire Ed school visit.
From term two onwards teachers who have not heard from their local firefighters may request the Fire Ed for Upper Primary firefighter visit for their class(es) by completing and submitting the form below.
Allow at least one month notice for scheduling visits.
Your local firefighters will then be in touch to confirm a date and time with you and to discuss any specific issues related to your students.
NB: The Fire Ed for Upper Primary program takes place over three stages that are designed to be taught over a period of approximately three or four weeks.
The Firefighter Visit is Stage 3.
Teachers will need to prepare the students for the Firefighter Visit and reinforce their learning with classroom activities at:
Stage 1 – House Fire Case Study
Stage 2 – Group Research Project.
The House Fire Case Study should be used by Grade 6 or Grade 5/6 classroom teachers to orient their students to Stage 2 - Group Research Project and Stage 3 – Firefighter Visit of the FRV Fire Ed for Upper Primary program.
This component is a short classroom activity directed by classroom teachers that utilises video resources.
This House Fire Case Study is fictitious and encourages the students to analyse the feelings, thoughts, choices, responsibilities and actions of four people involved in a house fire.
Students will participate in and contribute to discussions that encourage them to explore the links between their emotions and their behaviour. The characters in the scenario display confidence, adaptability and persistence. Students will see how these attributes are important in dealing with new or challenging situations; including emergencies.
It asks them to understand and share the feelings of and to put themselves in the shoes of the four interviewees. It brings to mind that house fires do happen and can happen to anyone.
- The activity involves three steps A-C.
- Students will require access to the internet to view short video clips.
- Teachers will need to download and print the four Empathy Maps (below)
Step A – Interview Videos
- Break class into four equal groups.
- Position each group to enable discussion and access to internet and a screen.
- Provide each group with one of the four Empathy Maps.
- Students should become familiar with the questions on their Empathy Map prior to viewing the relevant video interview.
- Each group is to watch one short video (below) of an interview with someone who has been involved in a house fire
Group 1 12 year old child occupant of home
Group 2 Adult occupant of home
Group 3 Neighbour
Group 4 Firefighter
Step B – Small Group Discussion and Empathy Maps
- Each small group discusses the interview that they have watched.
- During the discussion each group is to complete an Empathy Map that analyses the emergency from their interviewee’s viewpoint.
- A student should be assigned to lead each group in the discussion.
- A student should be assigned to write the responses of their group to the questions on their group’s Empathy Map.
Step C – Whole Class Discussion
- Bring the whole class back together as one group.
- Each small group should choose two or more students to make a short oral report to the class summing up their group’s discussion.
- The students should display and refer to their group’s Empathy Map during their oral report.
Additional Information to Assist Firefighters
Students who have been impacted by a house fire or bush fire may be distressed by discussions of fire safety. In the Upper Primary Family Fire Safety Information parents and caregivers have been asked to discuss their child’s need with you so that firefighters may be made aware of this and take it into account during their visit.
Also, please inform firefighters if any students in your class are living with disabilities and may require additional consideration during their visit.
In the week prior to the Firefighter Visit to the school, teachers are asked to send Family Fire Safety Information home to all families:
This information should be copied for inclusion in year level / class and school newsletters, e-mails, social media or any other form of communication between the school and its community.
- information about the Fire Ed for Upper Primary program
- home fire safety information
Fire Rescue Victoria would greatly appreciate feedback on your child’s experience of the Fire Ed for Upper Primary program.
Your feedback will assist FRV to improve our education programs.
When your child’s class has completed the program please take a few minutes to complete this brief online survey:
This is a significant stage of the FRV Fire Ed for Upper Primary program as it forms a vital component of the Firefighter Visit.
The Group Research Project must be completed by students:
- after Stage 1 – Home Fire Case Study
- prior to Stage 3 - Firefighter Visit
Group Project Requirements
- Ensure students are in groups of 2-5.
- Each group is to choose (or be allocated) one of the six topics related to fire safety, fire science or the roles of firefighters. (see below)
- Ensure a maximum of two groups per topic to ensure a spread of information.
- Each group is to choose one activity from their topic list.
- Each group is to complete research on their topic.
- Students must use the references provided.
- Each group will then complete a project on their assigned topic that displays their research findings via their chosen activity.
The students’ aim is to produce a piece of work they would be proud of as these projects form the basis of a presentation the class will make to the firefighters during the Firefighter Visit.
The 30 minute Group Research Project presentation
During the upcoming Firefighter Visit the class will have up to thirty minutes to make a presentation to the firefighters.
This presentation will display each Group Research Project and will demonstrate what each group has learned about fire safety and firefighters!
Students must decide, as a class, how to present all the work to the firefighters on the day of the Firefighter Visit.
Students do not need to read all text word-for-word to the firefighters. They should provide a short summary of their project and its contents in their own words.
Presentations should be rehearsed before the firefighters’ visit. This will help students’ confidence and recollection of information when presenting to firefighters. This will also help with timing on the day of presentation.
Examples of presentations may include:
- A slide presentation, video or photos using a laptop, projector on a large screen or TV.
- A noticeboard presentation of hardcopy posters, photos, etc
- Role playing, poetry reading or singing
- Model or artwork
- Audio recording
Remember – the class has a total of thirty minutes to present or display all projects to the firefighters.
The topics and activities include:
The Firefighter Visit stage of the FRV Fire Ed for Upper Primary program involves career firefighters from your local FRV fire station visiting your school at a pre-arranged date and time for a 60 minute incursion.
The first two stages of the FRV Fire Ed for Upper Primary program must be completed before the Firefighter Visit.
- Stage 1 – Home Fire Case Study
- Stage 2 - Group Research Project
The Firefighter Visit is the final stage of the program.
The Group Research Project forms a vital component of the Firefighter Visit. The firefighters will observe and listen as the students demonstrate and display their projects during a 30 minute presentation. The firefighters will engage with students and provide feedback.
The firefighters will then provide an interactive presentation using infographic videos and discussion aimed to reinforce the messages students have learned while researching their project topics:
- Roles of FRV Firefighters
- Smoke Alarms – purpose, positioning and maintenance
- Home Fire Escape Plan – evacuation, safe meeting place, calling 000
- Home Fire Prevention
- Summer Fire Safety – preparation and response to bush and grass fires
To request a Firefighter Visit for your class as part of the FRV Fire Ed for Upper Primary program go to Requesting a Firefighter Visit.
The Fire Ed for Upper Primary program assists older children to:
- learn home fire safety information which will lead to preventing and reducing the impact of house fires
- understand the importance of installing and maintaining residential smoke alarms
- develop an increased awareness of safe home fire escape procedures and practices
- develop an increased awareness of safe bush and grass fire procedures and practices
- develop basic fire science concepts
- grow in their understanding of the roles of firefighters in Victoria
Fire Ed for Upper Primary is aligned to the Year 6 Victorian Curriculum.
This curriculum mapping grid identifies the extent of curriculum coverage in Stage 1 – House Fire Case Study and Stage 2 – Group Research Project activities of the Fire Ed for Upper Primary program.
The program could be integrated into a literacy block, a Health & Physical Education or Personal & Social Capability unit or used as a standalone unit of work.
At the completion of the FRV Fire Ed for Upper Primary program teachers are asked to complete a short online teacher survey. This survey will provide Fire Rescue Victoria with vital information to ensure the ongoing improvement of the Fire Ed programs.
Fire Rescue Victoria has developed these resources for children’s education and enjoyment:
The Triple Zero Kids’ Challenge has been created to educate children in how to cope in an emergency and the appropriate use of Triple Zero, Australia’s emergency call service.
This game is designed for children of kindergarten and primary school age and consists of fifteen safety scenarios.