Fire Drill: Book Inspired Fire Safety Month Activity for Preschoolers

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Help little kids learn about fire safety with a pretend play fire drill, inspired by the book Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill.

October is Fire Safety Month, and it's a great time to refresh your family's fire safety plan. My boys are at the age where it's important to start talking about what to do in case of a fire, but I don't want to frighten them. With sensitive topics like this, I often find that using story books and pretend play can help them to learn without a lot of pressure or fear. I found this to be true for our Fire Safety activity, and it was a good reminder for me to make sure our home was safe too.

I really wanted to boys to understand that when a fire alarm sounds, you pay attention and get out quickly. I found a wonderful book, Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill, by Jamie Harper, to help me explain this to them.

Miss Mingo is a teacher to a rambunctious class full of animals who do not always want to listen. When she tries to prepare them for a class fire drill mischief and mayhem follows. But in the end, they figure it out and ace their drill. The book is really fun with all the animal antics and my boys loved it. It was a perfect way to start talking about what to do in case of a fire with enough silliness to not scare them.

After we read Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill, we decided to act out the book with our own toy animals. This was a great way to have the boys show me what we had read in the book and reinforce the concept of a fire drill.

We started by setting up our toy animals inside our schoolhouse, just like in the book. The fire truck was on hand too to help us with our drill. We talked about how important it is to listen for the fire alarm sounds, and to stay calm in an emergency.

Then we had our "fire drill." All the animals lined up and got out safely.

One of the boys even dressed up as the Fire Chief to help make sure everything was in order. This gave us a great chance to talk about firemen and how they are helpers in an emergency.

Reading about and then having our own pretend play fire drill really helped the boys to begin to understand safety when it comes to a potential fire without overwhelming them. It also gave me a great opportunity to refresh our family's fire safety plan, starting with our smoke detectors.

Having working smoke detectors can reduce your family's risk of dying in a house fire nearly in half. Families have an average of 3 minutes to escape their home from the time the first smoke alarm sounds, so every second counts. 71% of non-working smoke alarms have missing, dead, or disconnected batteries.

Energizer® started the Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery™ program to help keep families safe. It's simple: when you change the time on your clock, change your smoke detector battery too. What an easy way to remember something that could possibly save your family's lives in a fire emergency.

I have been following the Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery™ idea for years, so on my last trip to Target I picked up some Energizer® Max® batteries for my smoke detectors, knowing that the time change is coming up on November 1.

It only takes a few minutes to change the batteries, and I am assured that my smoke detectors will be working when I need them.

For more fire safety planning information, download a Free Fire Safety Checklist here.

Reinforce your kids' fire safety learning with a fun Fire Safety Coloring Sheet here.

How do you teach your kids about Fire Safety? Let me know in the comments below, and click here to learn more about Energizer® Max® batteries and the Change Your Clock, Change Your Batteries™ program!
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