Firefighter teaching fire safety at school

Fire Department

4th Grade

What I learned today:

First Visit –

  • Today we learned about smoke and that it is poisonous, hot and impossible to breathe.
  • We learned that we cannot smell or see smoke in our sleep.
  • We learned that a smoke detector gives us early warning of smoke in our home.
  • We should find smoke detectors on the ceiling in bedrooms and on every level of our house.
  • The best kind of smoke detector is a working one. Sadly, many smoke detectors in homes do not work. They may be missing batteries, not mounted on the ceiling, or be out of date. One in three homes in Mt. Lebanon do not have a single working smoke detector! That’s crazy!
  • We learned that a smoke detector has three parts a sensor (sniffer), a speaker (horn sounder) and a power supply (battery).
  • We learned how to use the test button to make sure our smoke detector works. We do this every month..
    We should replace smoke detectors every 10 years.
  • Our homework is to count how many smoke detectors we have at home and to see if they work.
  • We learned that if we don’t have a working smoke detector, need help changing batteries, or want help installing more smoke detectors, the Mt Lebanon Fire Department will give us one for free and help install as many as we want at no charge!

Second Visit –

  • We reviewed our homework and talked about who had non-working smoke detectors and how they fixed them.
  • We learned about the FIRE TRIANGLE. The fire triangle is made up of three sides, fuel, heat and oxygen.
  • We learned that if we can remove one leg of the triangle, the fire will go out.
  • Fuels can be solids, liquids or gases.
  • A solid fuel might be wood. A liquid fuel might be cooking oil and a gaseous fuel would be natural gas.
  • Heat is required for fuels to reach their ignition temperature. Heat sources include sparks, electrical energy, friction and many others.
  • Oxygen is all around us. 

Fires burn much faster, with a lot more poisonous smoke, than they used to. We watched a video showing how fast things in our homes burn compared to when our parents were kids! This is why we need smoke detectors on every floor and in every bedroom.  

This is the video we watched: Legacy Room VS Modern Room

We also learned we can control the air and keep smoke and fire out by closing doors if we can’t get outside.

Third Visit –

  • Today, the fire department brought the fire safety house.
  • The fire safety house is really a trailer, but just like a real house, it has a meeting place in case there is a fire.
  • Inside the fire safety house, we reviewed some points from earlier lessons.
  • Then, the smoke detector went off!
  • We crawled to the door (our primary escape route), and opened it a crack to check the hallway.
  • The hallway was blocked by smoke!
  • We then shut the door, used a blanket to keep smoke out of our room and crawled to the window (our secondary escape route).
  • We then climbed down the fire safety ladder and went to our meeting place.
  • At the meeting place, we remembered our two jobs: to count noses and call 9-1-1.
  • After the “fire” was out and it was safe to go back inside we went in with the firefighters to investigate what happened.
  • We found that the fire triangle had come together. An unattended candle (the heat source) came in contact with a curtain and tissue box (the fuel source) and mixed with the oxygen in the air to create a fire.
  • Fortunately, the smoke detector gave us an early warning so we could escape.
  • We reviewed that we should check our smoke detector once a month and we should replace smoke detectors every 10 years.