As families celebrate the summer by lighting their grills, campfires, fire pits, and outdoor fireplaces for cookouts and other summer activities, BIC is making it easier and more fun to teach children about the importance of fire safety. BIC, renowned as a longtime leader of fire safety and prevention education through its award-winning play safe! be safe! fire safety education program, today launched a new, highly interactive, website (www.playsafebesafe.com).
(Since the inception of the program in 1994, BIC, in cooperation with Fireproof Children, has distributed more than 114,000 play safe! be safe!® kits and presented 184 workshops in all U.S. states, Puerto Rico and every Canadian provinces.)
The launch of this new resource comes at a critical time of year, as fires started by children peak in the summer months. According to the American National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 76 % of fires caused by children playing with fire occur outdoors, and nearly one in four (23%) of those occur in July alone. This is primarily due to the Fourth of July holiday. Nearly 40% of these outdoor fires occur during the summer months of June, July and August.
“Young children are fascinated by fire – the colors, the movement, the warmth and the association with holidays and family celebrations,” said Dr. Robert Cole, President of Fireproof Children and facilitator of BIC’s play safe! be safe! program in Sheldon, Conn.. “Yet, their developing minds are typically unable to grasp the hazards and consequences of fire – and this combination results in thousands of fire incidents every year. But the good news is that education works, and teaching fire safety to young children can help foster awareness at an early age.”
The new website was created in conjunction with Fireproof Children, an organization that has been working to reduce children’s fire play and fire setting for more than 25 years. The site provides an interactive experience for users and offers helpful resources and information for parents, as well as an activities and games section for children called “Hero’s World,” named for the program’s iconic and beloved Dalmatian mascot, Hero.
For more than two decades, BIC has sponsored professional development workshops for educators, daycare providers and other community agencies concerned about child safety. The play safe! be safe!® workshops provide an overview of children’s understanding of fire and the best practices for teaching fire safety and prevention to young children.
“It is as important as ever to talk to young children about fire safety,” said Chris Mills, President, BIC Consumer Products North America. “Through our play safe! be safe! program, BIC is working hard to provide the tools for families to learn about fire safety together at home, and for educators to learn first-hand at one of our many workshops held nationwide. We are so proud of the impact this program has made over the past two decades and are confident our interactive website will allow for even deeper engagement from families.”
Playsafebesafe.com provides resources for parents, teachers and early childhood caretakers, as well as new games and activities for kids who visit Hero’s World, including:
- Safe at Home – This game features an image of everyday items in your home and instructs children to identify items as safe or unsafe, as well as steps to take if they encounter them in their own homes.
- Firefighter Simon – Similar to Simon Says, this game encourages children to “put on” various pieces of the firefighter’s protective gear.
- safe for play! keep away! – In this game, various objects are presented and the player must decide whether the object is safe for play! or if you should keep away!
Added Cole: “Not only are we arming adults with the information they need, but we are empowering children to learn independently by creating a fun learning environment for them.” – PRNewswire