CAPT, Fireman Sam and Billie and Greg Shepherd team up to teach us about fire safety.
Every parent hopes that their child will never experience an accident on Bonfire Night or Halloween. And yet, every year the same horror stories of accidents involving sparklers, fireworks and flammable costumes resurface all over again. It’s important that we educate ourselves on fire safety, as well as our children.
This year, The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) has teamed up with Fireman Sam to create ‘Fireman Sam Safety Hero School’, an initiative aimed at pre-schoolers in the UK with the intention of educating them on the dangers of playing with fire. Supporting this campaign are celebrity parents Billie and Greg Shepherd, who share the trust’s passion and intention to keep children safe on Bonfire Night. As a child, Billie witnessed her auntie escape a near-fatal incident with fire while cooking over the stove, and ever since the celebrity mum has been particularly concerned with ensuring that her children don’t underestimate the risks of playing with fire.
The Fireman Sam Safety School offers parents and children a platform to educate themselves about the dangers of playing with fire, regardless of the occasion. At the Fireman Sam website they will be able to download fire safety activity sheets and watch videos that teach children about the risks involved in interacting with fire. As the children complete these fun and educational worksheets, they will receive virtual badges and certificates until they eventually complete the course and become a ‘Fireman Sam Ultimate Safety Hero’. Head over to their website to learn more about it, and read on to see our list of the most important fire safety tips to remember this Halloween and Bonfire Night as recommended by the CAPT.
Below: Billie and Greg Shepherd supporting the Fireman Sam Safety Hero School campaign
- Less flammable fabrics include nylon, polyester, wool and silk. Cheaper costumes will often be made of highly flammable fabrics such as cotton, rayon and acrylic, so before you hit the bargain stores, see what you have at home. You’d be surprised what you can make out of old clothes and sheets, and your children may enjoy getting a little creative!
- Whether it’s homemade or shop-bought, try to make sure that your child’s costume doesn’t have too many extra appendages or loose parts, as they will be more vulnerable to catching fire.
- Lots of costumes will have complicated zips and buttons, but try to ensure that your child is wearing a costume that can be easily slipped on and off. That way, if it does catch fire, your child can quickly pull off their costume and reduce their exposure to the flame.
- Halloween costumes rarely offer much warmth, so make sure that your child layers up underneath their costume. Not only will this keep them warm as they head off into the night, but it will also protect their skin from fire if their costume catches alight.
- It’s not just fire that’s a threat on Halloween – most of the time, children will go trick-or-treating wearing nothing but their costume, which will often not provide any illumination or visibility in the dark night. To protect your children from road accidents, make sure that their costume is bright, colourful and illuminated. There are lots of costumes that can naturally incorporate this factor, so don’t worry about spoiling their outfit!
Despite all of our precautions, accidents can happen and it’s important that your child understands what to do in a fire-related emergency. Before Halloween, practice the Stop, Drop and Roll with your child so he or she can keep themselves safe if their costume catches alight.
- STOP what you are doing
- DROP to the ground and cover your face with your hands
- ROLL over and over to put out the flames
Be Safe This Halloween
This article isn’t just for concerned parents or young children. Everyone can do their bit to keep children safe this Halloween, whether it’s by leaving electric torches on outside your house to light their way, adding a pair of fire-resistant gloves to the bag of sweets that you give out, or simply pasting a flyer of the ‘STOP, DROP and ROLL’ method onto the back of your door. Every small gesture helps to keep another child safe from the dangers of fire.