Fire Alarms for Fire Safety
One of the most important times for children to follow rules is during evacuation drills. Knowing fire safety rules and routes to follow helps calm young students' fears in case of an emergency.
To help students follow class rules during an evacuation drill and identify and follow the correct escape route.
- Poster board
- Chart paper with grid (if possible) for easy line drawing and measurement
- Construction paper
- Optional: bell
- Optional: 8½" x 11" graph paper and markers for older students
Write the rules to follow for an evacuation drill on a large piece of poster board or chart paper. For example:
When the fire alarm rings:
- Stop what you are doing.
- Listen for directions.
- Walk quickly and silently.
- Follow the escape route.
- Meet outside the building.
- Once outside, stay outside.
Gather students together and have them look around the room. Ask a student to stand at each of the exits in the classroom. Have students talk about the exit to take if they want to get outside quickly. What if that exit is blocked? Which exit would they take? Why?
Now, work with the class to draw the shape of the classroom on the chart paper. Identify exits, windows, and walls along the sides of the room. Use different shapes or colors to show bookcases, desks, and other barriers within the room.
Next, go over the class rules for an evacuation drill. Which exit does the class use? Where do they go? Why is it important to be quiet and listen?
Ask several students to demonstrate how to get to the exits from different areas of the classroom. Ring a bell and have them walk quickly and quietly to the exit. What barriers do they have to walk around? How would they walk if everyone were trying to get to the exit at the same time? Continue the drill until the whole class walks quickly and quietly to the exit, at the same time and from different spots in the room.
Ask students to talk about the procedure. Were there problems? If so, what should happen to make the exit go more smoothly? For example, listen for directions to hear who should walk first or which exit to use.
Create a class list of "What To Do" when students hear the bell. Post the list and the evacuation chart in the classroom.
Optional Procedure for Older Students: Have students use the graph paper to draw the route they would take from their desks or from special spots in the classroom. Post these evacuation routes around the room.
Related Family Article: Rules for Fire Safety
- "The American Red Cross Masters of Disaster"
This is an excellent, free online fire safety resource for parents and teachers. Activities for K–2 can easily be adapted for pre-K.
- "U.S. Fire Administration for Kids"
This government site answers fire prevention and safety questions for families. Online games are not meant for preschoolers, but the site is colorful and has good information.
This site from the National Fire Prevention Association has great pictures of fire trucks for children to see and learn about, as well as other fire prevention and safety tips and tools.