Dayna: If you could share one tip with a fire safety educator just getting their feet wet in fire safety education, what would it be?
Jeni: I think the biggest thing to remember, no matter what type, age or size of group you are facing, is to keep it simple. Most people, especially young children and our seniors, will only remember a small percentage of the information presented. That is why so many of our important safety messages are short, for example: Get Out-Stay Out, Turn Around, Don’t Drown, Click It or Ticket. Instead of a long presentation, try to make it fun and personable for your target audience.
Dayna: What are some of your favorite fire safety related sites on the web?
Jeni: NFPA.org is by far my number one site! There is no better place to find safety information or resources. There is a great section just for educators. You can sign up for the newsletter and connect with other educators across the country. There are also scholarship and grant opportunities and an interactive area for children. During Fire Prevention Week, they offer tips and even lesson plans to coincide with the annual theme. There are even small projects like “Sparky Origami” that are kid favorites!
USFA.dhs.gov is another great site to find safety information on a variety of topics. This site is a great place to find brochures, videos, online presentations and case studies.
Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have also been a personal favorite. This is such a quick way to distribute a safety message or quickly give out safety information or potential hazards such as road closures, gas leaks or the threat of severe weather. .
Dayna: Where do you see fire safety education in ten years?
Jeni: With technology continuing to evolve, I definitely see more and more computer and interactive training. This seems to be evident in the safety trailers, training modules and computer programs already available. With that said, as technology advances, new dangers arise and the need for public education stays constant. Our safety messages are more important than ever. With construction, commercial or residential, it is imperative that we remind people of the importance of fire sprinklers and choosing the right detectors. With more reliance on technology, it is important to remind our citizens of electrical hazards. As educators we must stay on top of any new hazards and educate our citizens properly.
Dayna: Any last thoughts?
Jeni: I would just like say thanks to you for allowing me to share my thoughts and ideas on fire safety. I encourage anyone who would like additional information on free resources or who would like to share fire safety ideas to contact me.
Thank you Jeni for your time and for helping share all of the wonderful work you do. You are indeed a true asset to the fire service.
To learn more about Jeni’s fire safety programming, please contact her at (407) 585-1376 or email@example.com.
If you have a fire safety program or idea that you would like to share with other educators, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you.