about the workshops

Designed specifically for safety educators, teachers, daycare providers and other community agencies concerned about child safety, play safe! be safe!® workshops provide an overview of children’s understanding of fire and the best practices for teaching fire safety and prevention.

workshop segments

Workshops are divided into six segments covering the following topics.

  1. The frequency of children’s fire play and fire setting

    Participants develop an understanding of the importance of fire safety education for this age group. Using national statistics gathered by the National Fire Protection Association, participants develop an understanding of the number of fires started by children each year, and the deaths, injuries and property loss resulting from these fires. They also come to understand the particular vulnerability of preschool children, resulting from their unexpectedly high rate of fire play and their inappropriate response to high-risk fire situations.

  2. The young child’s understanding of fire

    The workshop describes the aspects of fire that children and adults find fascinating. It also investigates how children’s experiences with and observations of fire lead to a profound misunderstanding of the potential danger. A review of preschool children’s cognitive skills, based primarily on the work of noted psychologist Jean Piaget, describes the limits of what children of this age can be expected to learn, even with optimal fire safety education.

  3. Teaching children safety skills

    The workshop reviews the most common, yet ineffective techniques most adults use to teach children safety. The workshop presents demonstrably effective approaches based on teaching specific skills and behaviors and then rewarding those behaviors. Techniques to enhance the children’s acquisition of the relevant skills are also reviewed.

  4. Fire prevention for young children

    Specific fire safety and fire prevention skills appropriate for young children are identified and reviewed. These include a) not picking up ignition materials (matches and lighters), b) go to the firefighter, c) stop, drop and roll and d) get low and go. Materials designed to teach and reinforce those skills are provided and reviewed.

  5. Involving families in fire safety

    The critical role of the family in providing a safe environment and in reinforcing the lessons being taught to the children is also reviewed. Specific parental responsibilities are identified as are strategies designed to encourage parents to actively participate in fire safety.

  6. The evaluation of the play safe! be safe!® program

    A strategy for evaluating safety programs is described and the results of the evaluation of the play safe! be safe! program are presented.

who’s eligible

Each year, communities across the U.S. and Canada are selected for play safe! be safe!® workshops free of charge. BIC underwrites the cost of the presentation and provides a play safe! be safe!® multimedia kit to every participant. A local, primary sponsor organizes the event, secures an appropriate venue and ensures attendance.

We invite all interested communities to apply. But to maximize the impact of the program, we look for larger communities with higher numbers of attendees and the demonstrated ability to implement a coordinated fire safety initiative. The goal of the program is to place as many kits as possible in the hands of individuals who show a concern for and commitment to child safety.

how to apply

If you would like to sponsor a workshop in your community, you must be able to provide an appropriate venue, team with other local co-sponsors and ensure attendance through invitations, publicity and follow-up. If you are interested in hosting a workshop, please click here.

Workshops typically qualify for continuing education credits (CEUs). We are happy to supply you with supporting information that can help with the CEU approval process necessary in your area.

BIC Play Safe! Be Safe! Fire Safety Education Workshops