The Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) Program is a state initiative to provide resources to local fire departments to conduct fire and life safety education programs in grades K-12. The mission is to enable students to recognize the dangers of fire. Townsend Fire-EMS department and our SAFE Supervisor LT. Jeff Cormier, are very active with its SAFE program. In our community we focus primarily on the younger children, teaching them how to be safe at a young age giving them teaching lessons that will last them a life time. We also reach out to our senior citizens providing them with fire safety information and going over what to do in the event of a fire.
Fire Safety Behaviors that are taught to the children are:
- Stop, Drop, and Roll
- Making and Practicing Home Escape Plans
- Reporting Fires and Emergencies
- Crawl Low Under Smoke
- Basic Smoke Detector Maintenance
- Kitchen Safety
- Holiday Safety and more
The benefits of learning these skills are:
- Training children reduces anxiety levels so they are able to react to stressful situations
- Fire, School, Health and Police Departments working together to help children survive
- Firefighter are looked at as a role model
- Fires, burns and deaths are reduced.
Child Fire Deaths Drop 72% Since S.A.F.E. Started
The average annual number of fire deaths of children under age 18 has fallen by 72% since the start of the S.A.F.E. Program in the fall of 1995. Since fire death numbers fluctuate quite a bit from year to year, it is helpful to look both at the trend line in the graph below and at averages over several years.
During the 17 full years that the S.A.F.E. Program has been in effect, from 1996 to 2013 the average number of child fire deaths per year is 5.1. In the 14 years prior to the S.A.F.E. Program, 1981-1994, the average number of child fire deaths per year was 18.