The call is going out across Queensland for kids to sign up as junior firefighters in Blazer’s Brigade these school holidays.
The Fire and Rescue Service is asking parents and caregivers to appoint a junior firefighter to help identify fire hazards around the house.
Community Engagement Manager Alan Musk said the June-July holiday period was the perfect time to teach young children about fire safety.
“There is traditionally a spike in house fires during this period as winter really kicks in and families spend more time indoors to stay warm,” Mr Musk said.
“Firefighters responded to 561 house fires during winter last year – an increase of more than 7 per cent during the same period in 2014.
“Taking the time to address potential hazards and putting in place important safety procedures will ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday.”
Mr Musk said families should encourage their junior firefighters to play an active role in fire-proofing their homes with an adult, such as checking smoke alarms, making sure they know how to dial Triple Zero, using appliances safely and practicing an escape plan.
“Involving your children in fire safety activities in an engaging way can be great fun while teaching them important safety tips at the same time,” he said.
“Smoke and fire can take hold within a home in minutes, so children need to know what to do in an emergency.
“It is important children understand the escape plan, including where to safely assemble outside the home.”
Mr Musk said there were a number of resources available to help children, including an online quiz which teaches important messages such as ‘get down low and go, go, go’ and ‘stop, drop and roll’.
“I would also encourage parents to download the Triple Zero Kids’ Challenge app,” he said.
“This interactive and fun game teaches children important safety messages and what happens when they dial Triple Zero.”
Mr Musk said children should also be supervised at all times if helping in the kitchen these holidays.
“Many children enjoy helping their parents cook, but it is essential they are not left unattended,” he said.
“Kitchen fires are the most common cause of all house fires, so fire blankets and extinguishers should be present in cooking areas.”
QFES mascot Blazer will be on hand during the holidays with activities to help Queensland’s junior firefighters stay safe when using appliances or helping their parents in the kitchen.
To access the quiz, app and other helpful resources for kids, visit www.qfes.qld.gov.au/kids/