Workshop focuses on teaching young kids about fire safety

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 17, 2015) - A special workshop making a stop in central Indiana Friday will provide resources for teachers and daycare workers regarding fire safety instruction. "Play Safe, Be Safe" focuses on the hazards around the home that can lead to children starting a fire.

Nearly 50,000 fires are started each year by children under the age of five. Workshop organizers said many children don't realize the true danger of playing with a candle or lighter.

"Because children have such a poor understanding they are likely to start a fire in a closet or on their bed where there are lots of flammable materials, said Robert Cole, PhD, who is leading the workshop. "So fires started by young children - the preschool children - are more likely to create structural damage and injure people than fires started by older kids."

The "Play Safe, Be Safe" program encourages educators to review with children what can happen if they play with fire and also understand what they need to do if they are involved in a blaze.

"Sometimes the loud noises of an alarm is unsettling, they get frightened about that," Cole said. "The circumstance make them frightened. They may crawl under the bed."

The workshop materials also emphasize the need to ensure kids understand that firefighters are there to help. Cole said they have noticed some children are afraid of firefighters because of the masks and bulky gear they are required to wear.

The workshop is happening at the Indiana Government Center-South, 302 W. Washington Street, from 1 to 4 p.m. The event is free. Participants are asked to arrive by 12:30 to check in.

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