This week is Fire Prevention Week. It’s one of the longest public service events, having run for over 89 years. For young kids it’s one of the more exciting school memories. Getting to ride in the fire truck; meeting firemen. If you were lucky, they would let you wear the hat. But this week I was able to view the event from the other side. We teamed up with the Kendall Fire Department to help teach Kendall Elementary School’s third graders the importance of fire safety.
One of the things that fire fighters teach the students every year is that in the event of a fire they need to get out of their home fast. They aren’t allowed to go back for anything. So we asked the children what they would never want to lose in a fire. Of course some of them mentioned video games and Ipods. (I give strong kudos to the parents of these kids who have obviously taught them to take care of their more expensive toys.) Others took a more practical approach, mentioning money and their allowance. But for many of them the first things that came to mind were much more sentimental. Their first stuffed animal or blanket they’d had since they were a baby, a present given to them by a grandparent, and an award from a sports or school accomplishment were among the items that quickly came to their minds. One boy mentioned that he would never want to lose photographs of his family while they were still together. Because no matter how old we are, we all have things that hold special meaning to us. Things that represent memories we could never replace.
So we taught the children how to keep those memories protected. Through a presentation, as well as a couple videos, we showed them what a fire-resistant safe was and how it worked. And that by keeping their most important things in the safe, they could be sure that they would always have them. They asked great questions about how the safes worked, how they could get inside once it was burned and what types of things they could protect in their safes. They were a curious, enthusiastic and wonderful group. It was a pleasure to meet them all. Many of them even mentioned that they would feel better leaving their house if they knew they had a safe to keep their important things protected.
After the event, I couldn’t help but be struck by how enthusiastic the kids were about protecting their more sentimental things. It got me thinking about my own things that I keep protected, and I realized many of them I’d had for years, some since I was a kid. And I realized they were so special to me because of the memory it represented. And we are never too young to be making these happy memories.
So ask your kids…Is there something they want to protect? Is there something important to them that they would never want to lose in a fire? You might be surprised by the answer. And consider adding that special item to your safe; because you’re never too young to keep it safe!