Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service regard schools education as a very effective method of promoting fire safety in the community. The belief is that by teaching school children fire safety procedures, this knowledge will filter through into the community as children tell their parents, friends and relatives what they have learned.
We aim to give children basic life skills by teaching them safety issues, including hazards in the home, the importance of having operational smoke alarms, and escape plans at home.
We currently visit school children in Year 1 (age 5/6) and again in Year 5 (age 09/10) and are in the process of working regionally to our anti-social behaviour programme used in Year 8 at our SafetyWorks Centre.
Statistical evidence is necessary to demonstrate the effectiveness of the scheme. Therefore we recently commissioned an evaluation of the schools programme in which we revisited classes and assessed the children by means of a written questionnaire (year 6), or an individual interview (year 1).
The children were tested on two occasions:
The results were examined to see if our input made a significant difference to the individuals knowledge and awareness of fire safety. Overall all children showed increases in knowledge after the lesson with 79% of year 8 pupils remembering the core messages.