Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) is a grant program to local
fire departments that puts trained firefighter-educators in classrooms to
conduct fire safety education in grades Pre-K through 12. The primary
mission of S.A.F.E. is to enable students to recognize the dangers of fire
and the fire hazards of tobacco products. S.A.F.E. trains firefighters to
deliver age-appropriate fire and life safety lessons in close coordination
with classroom teachers and health educators.
How is S.A.F.E. Funded?
S.A.F.E. began in FY ’96. During the first seven years of the program,
S.A.F.E. was funded by the tobacco tax (Health Protection Fund), because
smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths. S.A.F.E. is currently funded
by a state appropriation from general revenue funds distributed by the
Executive Office of Public Safety. In FY ’14, 225 fire departments shared
$1,200,000 in funding.
Partnerships in the Classroom
The S.A.F.E. program fosters a working partnership among firefighters,
classroom teachers, and health educators. These professionals work together to introduce key fire safety behaviors such as Stop, Drop, and Roll;
Making and Practicing Home Escape Plans; andReporting Fires and Emer-gencies to children. Often, these fire safety behaviors are easily combined
with math, science, language arts, health, or physical education lessons to
complement the classroom curriculum.
Key Fire Safety Behaviors
The S.A.F.E. program identifies 23 Key Fire Safety Behaviorsthat are
taught in developmentally appropriate ways. The behaviors include:
• Smoke Alarm Maintenance
• Making and Practicing Home Escape Plans
• Crawl Low Under Smoke
• Stop, Drop and Roll
• Match and Lighter Safety
• Kitchen Fire and Burn Safety
• Reporting Fires and Emergencies