Preschool Books About Fire Safety and Prevention
Nobody likes to think about home fires, but fire safety is an important early childhood topic that should be covered in every preschool class. It is important for young children to understand some basic information about preventing fires, and what to do in case they are at home during a fire. Young children are especially at risk, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Knowing what to do in case of a home fire is an important piece of your fire safety-themed preschool lesson.
It's not uncommon for young children, especially those who are sensitive to loud noises and other stimuli, to be anxious or afraid of the clanging, buzzing and ringing sounds made by fire engines. And the masks worn by fire fighters can appear menacing and monstrous too. For these sensitive children, part of a fire safety theme is about setting fears at ease, so that in the unfortunate event that they should experience a home fire, they will know that a firefighter is there to help, not harm. In a home school cooperative preschool setting, a visit to a local fire station to meet the firefighters and view their engines can be an excellent ending to an information-packed fire theme.
The following picture books on the topic of fire safety can supplement any preschool or library story hour during fire prevention week, or may be shared at home.
Firefighters! Speeding! Spraying! Saving!
Firefighters! Speeding! Spraying! Saving! by Paricia Hubbell and illustrated by Viviana Garofoli is a rhyming read-aloud for preschoolers and follows a firefighting crew from the comfort of their firehouse, on a wild ride in their bright red fire engine, to the scene of a fire, where the firemen rescue people from a burning building and put out the fire. Garofoli's vivid illustrations are saturated with fire-engine red, brilliant yellow, and blue. And a dalmation named Spot (of course) adds a lighthearted touch to the scenes of a building ablaze and people being lowered to the ground on a ladder.
Tip for reading this story to a group
Use the sounds in the story to talk about the sounds a fire engine makes. Have the kids make the whoo-ooooo sound featured in the story, at key points in the story. Or, before reading the story, hold up the book and point to the fire engine, asking kids what sound a fire truck makes. You can ask your students if they have ever heard a fire engine. Is it a loud noise or a soft noise? Why do you think fire engines are so loud? Would it be fun to ride a fire engine? Slide down a fire pole?
Even Firefighters Hug Their Moms
Even Firefighters Hug their Moms by Christine Kole MacLean and illustrated by Mike Reed depicts a preschool-aged boy and his toddler-aged sister on an imagination-filled day filled with role playing and pretend play. In each page, the imaginative preschooler uses household items to make his world into a fire fighting scene, using the hose of his vacuum and a realistic looking mask made from baby stacking toys. As an EMT, a construction worker, a helicopter pilot, and even an astronaut, the story's hero is too busy saving the day, but finally, as a garbage truck driver, he relents and gives his mom a big hug. As the mother of a 5-year old boy with a 3-year old sister, I highly recommend this sweet story that will be appreciated by both parents and their kids.
Borrow a real firefighter's mask and a pair of heavy-duty firefighter boots to bring to story hour or circle time. Show kids the firefighter's mask and explain how it is used by the firefighter to breathe during a fire. Invite an actual firefighter if possible to visit your class and give a presentation about firefighters and their clothing.
Preschool-aged children often enjoy pretend play. Dressing up as a firefighter and imagining being the hero of the day can help children come to terms with the fear of the unknown that comes with this topic. Imagining that your home could be on fire is a frightening idea. But imagining that you are the hero who helps put the fire out is a way to understand that scary things happen, but firefighters are community members who are there to help.
Stop, Drop, and Roll
Stop Drop and Roll (A Book about Fire Safety) by Margery Cuyler and illustrated by Arthur Howard is another story by this author of the Bumpy Little Pumpkin and is part of her Jessica Worries series. In this book, young Jessica is worried about fire, but learns that the only way to overcome her fears is to learn what to do in case a fire happens. This book includes a list of 10 helpful and practical fire safety tips, for both parents and children, such as testing smoke alarms once a month, and practicing family fire drills twice a year. Stop, drop, and roll is an important lesson to teach all young children, and you can finish your reading of this story with a practice session.
No Dragons For Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons)
No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons) by Jean Pendziwol, and Martine Gourbault has been teaching a fire safety message for over twenty years. This story about a young girl who meets and dragon and brings her home for lunch, only to have the house catch on fire, has been a staple to preschool educators. The cute story tells kids what to do in case of a fire, and in case children meet a dragon! To avoid future mishaps, the young girl and her new dragon friend arrange to have a picnic at the beach.
Fire! Fire! by Gail Gibbons is another title that shows firefighters fighting a fire, and includes two pages of fire safety tips on the back cover. Recommended for ages 5 and up.
Big Frank's Fire Truck
Big Frank's Fire Truck by Leslie McGuire tells the story of Big Frank, a firefighter and his coworkers on the Fire Department. Biig Frank has a busy day answering an emergency call at the local quick stop, teaching kids an at elementary school, and even extinguishing a brush fire!
Fire Safety Tips for Your Presentation
Make sure you cover the following talking points during your fire safety theme presentation:
- Know how to get out of your bedroom in case of a fire.
- Stop, drop, and roll if your clothes catch fire.
- Firefighters are here to help. They wear masks to help them breath during a fire rescue. Make sure kids see what these masks look like.
- Crawl under smoke.
- Never go back inside a burning building for any reason.
- Know how to call 911.
- Make sure children know their full name and their address.
It's helpful to arrange a field trip to a local fire station, or to invite a firefighter to come to your preschool or library with some of their firefighting gear.
Free Fire Prevention Materials
Coloring Books and Coloring Pages
- My Fire Safety Book A coloring book published by the Fairfax, County Virginia government web site in 2004.
- Sparky the Fire Dog Stop, Drop, and Roll Coloring Page from the Sparky The Firedog web site.
- Sparky the Fire Dog and Fire Truck Printable Head Bands are also available on the Sparky the Firedog Website, which is a free resource to children, families, and teachers containing videos, online games, printable worksheets and activities, and even apps that kids can install on their phones and tablets. This site is sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association.
Fire Safety and Prevention Articles
- Fire Prevention Plan 101: Tips for everyday life
Fire can be a friend or a foe… While it warms us, allows us to cook our meals and so much more, it can also be a very dangerous enemy, putting at risk our house, our work place, our forest, our families. A small fire, which we would not even...
- Causes of Fire in Homes and How to Prevent It
A fire in the home can be a devastating event, damaging property and possibly causing death or personal injury. This guide outlines the most common causes of fires and how to prevent them.
© 2011 Carolyn Augustine