Teach kids a valuable lesson that could save lives with this simple fire safety experiment.
Did you know that this week is Fire Safety / Prevention Week? When Mike and I were first married, the couple across the hall from us lost everything in their apartment when they threw water on what should have been a small grease fire. Thankfully they were okay, and the fire did not spread to the rest of the building, although their apartment had to be completely gutted. This fire safety experiment is a great illustration of why you want to smother a grease fire (with the pan’s lid or baking soda or a fire extinguisher). It also explains why you avoid opening windows in burning buildings. Children are born curious, and this curiosity makes them excellent scientists! This simple, visual fire safety experiment for kids is a great way to get children thinking about the relationship between fire and oxygen.
Save Lives with this Simple Fire Safety Experiment
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The experiment is very simple. Light two candles, and cover one with a large jar, and the second with a smaller jar. Make sure that you cover the candles smoothly, since sudden movements may make the flame go out before the experiment begins!
I had actually never tried this experiment before pulling it out for my kids, and I was surprised by how quickly both candles went out – but there is no question that the smaller jar (with less oxygen) extinguishes more quickly.
More Fire Safety Tips for Families
It’s hard to think straight in an emergency, and every bit of practice helps! My kids have been practicing Stop, Drop, and Roll in school (and after school), and we have a fire safety plan for our house. We will be going over it again this week. Children need to know where to go and what to do when there is a fire. Make sure your children know where the fire extinguisher is, and how to use it! Remember that couple I introduced at the beginning of the post? The floor’s fire extinguisher was right outside their door, but they had forgotten about it in their panic. The entire building’s alarm had gone off. They were standing at the door of their burning apartment, frozen. They wouldn’t move. I handed them the fire extinguisher as soon as I realized what was happening. Within seconds the fire was out. Had they thought to use it earlier, they may have been able to save their belongings, and their apartment. Of course, it was much easier for me to think clearly, since it wasn’t my apartment that was on fire. It is very hard to make good decisions when in the middle of a crisis. This is why it is so important to plan ahead!
MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.