"Brilliant" Fire Safety Education For Children

Ben (7) and Dillon (9), pictured with their own smoke alarms, get a visit from Guy Williams of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Ben (7) and Dillon (9), pictured with their own smoke alarms, get a visit from Guy Williams of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Parents have praised a “brilliant” scheme by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service to educate children about fire safety.

Carl and Kerry Steventon called in the brigade’s iLearn team to talk to their two young boys when they became curious about fire last Hallowe’en.

Two members of Shrewsbury fire HQ went along to their home in Beckbury, near Shifnal, to speak to Dillon (9) and Ben (6) about the dangers of fire.

Watch Manager Paul Fulgoni, a firefighter for 25 years and HR Manager Lisa Vickers, both trained iLearn advisors, presented the brothers with their own smoke alarms for the family home after “the fire safety chat.”

The boys are now responsible for testing them weekly as recommended to all home owners by the fire service.

“Although both my husband and I had a chat to them, the fact that we had a 'real firefighter' come to visit and talk about the dangers was of real benefit and a lesson that will be ingrained on their minds far longer than anything we could have conveyed ourselves,” said mum Kerry.

“It is a brilliant scheme and the fact that they were given their own smoke alarms is also an excellent service. They are taking responsibility for these and remind us every week when it's Test it Tuesday.”

She said the boys “had a moment of curiosity” after pumpkins were lit at Halloween.

“I'm all too aware of the catastrophic consequences that could have been,” added Kerry, a police officer.

Ben, a pupil at Beckbury Primary School, said: “I get a long stick and poke the centre of the smoke alarm on the ceiling every Tuesday and it beeps.”

Guy Williams, Station Manager Prevention, said: “The iLearn scheme also provides a method for counselling children who have been upset by the occurrence of a fire.

Such a fire might not necessarily even have occurred at the child’s home. It may have been in the neighbourhood  or even on TV.  The child’s behaviour and anxiety levels may have changed.

“If you have a concern please get in touch with us to see how we can help you.”

Firefighters and non-operational staff volunteer to run the iLearn scheme as part of the brigade’s fire prevention work.  There are ten members of the team.

After the initial home visit, parents are contacted after six and 12 weeks to ensure fire safety advice is being followed.

Any parent concerned about fire safety can call the iLearn team on 01743 260200 or visit www.shropshirefire.gov.uk for fire prevention tips.


Fire safety advice to parents with children:

Keep matches and lighters out of sight and reach of children. Even toddlers and infants are capable of lighting a match or lighter.
Never leave younger children alone at home.
Explain to younger children that fire can hurt people and only adults can deal with it.
For older children explain fire is a tool and not a toy. Talk about different ways adults use fire, eg candles on a birthday cake or coal fires for heating.
Be aware that a person may hide matches in their clothing, school bags or bedroom for use later.
Ensure an open fire has an adequate safety guard.
Ensure that you have fitted smoke alarms on each floor of your home. Fit an alarm in the bedroom of the child who is fire setting.

Have an escape plan for the whole house- hold. Practise it, and regularly.

1st March, 2016