The Woodward News

February 15, 2013

Students learning fire safety

Chris Cooper
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. —  SHARON - Students at Sharon-Mutual Elementary got an interactive lesson on fire safety Thursday as they explored the Woodward Fire Department's inflatable fire safety house.

Public Education Officer Melissa Hobbs with Woodward County Fire Prevention said she uses the fire house demonstration to educate students in pre-kindergarten to 3rd grade throughout the county.

The presentation focuses on fire safety tips and procedures ranging from fire prevention to the "stop, drop, and roll" technique.

Hobbs went on to talk about how the inflatable fire house aids her efforts to educate children on fire safety.

"Inside there are 15 sayings on each wall of the house, all pertaining to fire safety. We take the kids through and talk about each point, as well as how they can prevent fires and what to do if there is a fire," she said.

The sayings cover topics from match safety to cooking safety, she said.

Hobbs said there are also plans to improve the simulation to make it more realistic.

"Right now its not set up for 'smoke,' but soon we'll have it set up so that it will fill up the place as though the house was on fire," Hobbs said.

But even without smoke, the fire education officer said the inflatable fire safety house is useful when teaching students about making a fire escape plan.

"In a house escape plan we typically teach them there are 2 ways out of most rooms, so this is set up with multiple exits. We set off the fire alarm and teach them how to escape, and after they're out we teach them about meeting places," Hobbs said.

With the inflatable house, the students can even practice how to escape.

"Having it provides a more realistic situation, when we add the smoke it'll be even better," Hobbs said of the fire safety house.  "Without the inflatable house, whenever I'm at schools teaching kids, I'm relying on the kids to imagine what I'm talking about."

Hobbs currently has plans to teach using the fire safety house in Fort Supply schools on Feb. 25, as well as at the Early Childhood Center in Woodward and Mooreland Elementary School in March.