Child Fire Safety Book 'The Birthday Gift That Beeped' Marks 35th Anniversary

Nov. 16, 2018
Nashville Firefighter Jim Laster has been educating children about fire safety for nearly 45 years. To aid learning, he wrote a book about a friendly smoke alarm.

A fire safety book for children, The Birthday Gift That Beeped, is in its 7th printing by Nashville firefighter/author Jim Laster.

Jim began teaching fire safety to kids in schools almost 45 years ago. After giving many presentations, he noticed much of the fire safety literature was in the trash cans. His thought was to develop a permanent book idea. The book could remain in the school for the teacher to use as a teaching aid and the students could check out the book from the library year round.

Being a veteran firefighter with the Nashville Fire Department, Nashville, TN, he began to write a story about a smoke alarm and soon enlisted the help of artist/friend Julie Best Erwin to develop the character of Beeping Ben, the smoke alarm. In the book the colorful and exciting character BEEPING BEN, a loveable and friendly smoke alarm saves the day. BEEPING BEN’s quick action to smell smoke helps the family to get out of their burning home safely.

Jim, now retired after 36 years of service, released the 35th  Anniversary Edition this past summer, 2018. He continues to teach fire safety and can be contacted at [email protected]. The book can be ordered through his website at

Fire departments needing multiple copies can request a quote for a discount.

THE BIRTHDAY GIFT THAT BEEPED and Beeping Ben are copyrighted products of Jim Laster Publishing LLC.

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