Read for Fire Safety

Here’s a fun way to bring fire safety to the classroom

NFPA has created a free deluxe storybook app and eBook to help you reach out to preschool through grade 5 students. Join Sparky the Fire Dog® in celebrating fire safety and reading! Just follow these easy steps, and reading in an elementary classroom will be a breeze. Meet with your fellow firefighters to gain support and participation in the Read for Fire Safety program. Share the Sparky’s Birthday Surprise app and Rescue Dogs, Firefighting Heroes, and Science Facts e-book with the firefighters.

What to do

  • Contact a local elementary school in your community. Arrange to visit with the principal, assistant principal, curriculum coordinator, or other coordinator to explain the "Read for Fire Safety" program.
  • Duplicate the "Read for Fire Safety" letter (docx, 31 KB). Make enough copies to provide one to preschool through grade 5 teachers.

When you meet with the principal, bring an IPad, Kindle Fire or other tablet so you can show the Sparky Birthday Surprise app, The Case of the Missing Smoke Alarm app, and the Rescue Dogs, Firefighting Heroes, and Science Facts eBook. Leave the Read for Fire Safety letters to be distributed to classroom teachers.

Here are some ideas to help schools participate:

  • Provide single classroom readings
  • Two classrooms can join together for a reading
  • Spend a few days in the school media center reading to classrooms as they visit the center

Provide reading opportunities outside the classroom

  • Include readings in a fire department open house
  • Schedule a time at the local library to do readings

Read for Fire Safety
Timo Juurakko, a Public Education Network Representative, in Maple Ridge, British Columbia had a successful Read for Fire Safety event at Maple Ridge Elementary school with a kindergarten class.

One week follow-up - Contact the school for a list of teachers and grade levels that would like a firefighter to visit the school for Read for Fire Safety. Make a schedule of classrooms and assign a firefighter to be the reader. Firefighters may need to use personal tablets or the classroom teachers may have tablets. Be sure tablets are available for each reading session.

Ways to show your iPad on a projector screen
The app and e-book can be displayed in the classroom using an LCD projector and a VGA cable. However, using an IPad, you will need an Apple adaptor – available at an Apple store ($30). Some schools will be fully equipped with wireless equipment and you will be able to project via the wireless network. Check with the school for the best way to project the app and e-book in a classroom. It’s a good idea to test the equipment, app and e-book before the day of readings.

Train your readers
Train the firefighters who will be participating. They should be comfortable with the equipment and accessing the materials. Demonstrate the interactivity of the app by showing the firefighters what they should touch on the app for example, the fire house garage door opens when touched, drawers will open when touched, etc. The firefighters should be comfortable turning the pages, projecting their voice and emphasizing the important safety messages presented.

Interactive activities to use with white boards are available. Firefighters and teachers can use these together to reinforce fire safety messages learned in the app and e-book. For schools that do not have interactive white boards, worksheets are available to use in the classroom. It’s important to know what equipment you will have available in the classroom, so you can prepare what you will do beyond reading. If using an interactive white board, ask the classroom teacher to take the lead and you can assist and also learn how to use this fun teaching method. If you use worksheets, be sure to make enough copies for each student. Interactive activities and PDF worksheets can be found at