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Accidents Happen – Stage 2

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Bush fire safety

Introduction

The ‘Accidents Happen’ safety message explores the fact that fires can start by accident, so you should always be cautious and think before you act. People are often unaware that barbecues, campfires, fire pits or anything that causes sparks can be a bushfire threat, particularly on Total Fire Ban days. For more information, see the ‘Total Fire Ban’ lesson and video.

There are three options for presenting this lesson. The activity is essentially the same, but it can be focused on barbecues, campfires or a combination of both. Select the option that best suits your location and students. There are accompanying activity sheets for all three options.

It is recommended that you view the background information for teachers before undertaking this lesson.

Links to NSW Curriculum

Geography

Environment strand

  • ENS2.5 – describes places in the local area and other parts of Australia and explains their significance.

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

Personal Health strand

  • PHS2.12 – discusses the factors influencing personal health choices.

Safe Living strand

  • SLS2.13 – discusses how safe practices promote personal wellbeing.

English

  • EN2-11D – responds to and composes a range of texts that express viewpoints of the world similar to and different from their own.

Learning outcomes

Participating in this lesson will help students to achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • Students will identify dangers around barbecues or campfire areas and discover ways of making these areas safer.
  • Students will understand the importance of thinking before acting and how failure to do this can lead to emergency events.

Resources

Resources required are dependent on which option you select.

  • ‘Accidents Happen’ safety message video (running time: 30 sec)
  • interactive whiteboard (IWB) - optional
  • ‘Find the Barbecue Dangers’ IWB picture
  • ‘Find the Barbecue Dangers Solutions’
  • ‘Making my Barbecue Safer’ activity sheet – one per student
  • ‘Find the Campfire Dangers’ IWB picture
  • ‘Find the Campfire Dangers Solutions’ – one per student
  • ‘Campfire Safety Tips’ – one per student
  • ‘A Safe Campfire’ activity sheet – one per student

Lesson steps

As a class, watch the video ‘Accidents Happen’.
Discuss:

  • Why did Trev’s Mum want the area cleared before she lit the barbecue?
  • What sorts of things did they find around the barbecue?
  • Do you think Trev understood why the area needed to be cleared?
  • What other things are important to consider when lighting fires?

Barbecue focused lesson

Ask students to discuss how often they have barbecues and why. Some responses may include on weekends, in the holidays, for lunch, when friends come over, for birthdays, in summer, etc.

Now ask students if they ever clear the area around the barbecue before it is lit. Why or why not?

Display the ‘Find the Barbecue Dangers’ picture on an IWB. Ask students to find and explain the items/areas in the picture that may be unsafe.

Invite students to talk about safety precautions they have taken when having a barbecue, record these on the board. Some responses may include: keep children away from barbecues, wear gloves when cooking, use the appropriate cooking utensils, have a fire extinguisher/fire blanket on hand, situate the barbecue appropriately, clear the area, etc.

Organise students into small groups and assign each group one of the brainstormed barbecue safety precautions. Students prepare a jingle or short skit illustrating barbecue safety and their key message. Perform these to the rest of the class.

After their performance, ask students to reflect on their learning by visualising their home barbecue and the area around it (if they don’t have a barbecue, they can work with a partner that does). Using the ‘Making my Barbecue Safer’ activity sheet, record any dangers and write down ideas to remove the dangers. Students to take these ideas home and show their parents/ carers.

Campfire focused lesson

Ask students to discuss when they have campfires and why. Some responses may include  when they are camping, during winter to keep warm, when they want to cook some food over an open flame, during a celebration etc. Ask students to share with a friend, or the whole class, a campfire experience they have had.

Now ask students if they think their campfire area is/was safe. Why or why not?

Display the ‘Find the Campfire Dangers’ picture on an IWB. Ask students to find and explain the items/areas in the picture that may be unsafe. Make sure students also consider what is missing from the picture that could make it unsafe (e.g. the fire is not in a trench).

Invite students to talk about safety precautions they have taken when around a campfire, record these on the board. Display the ‘Campfire Safety Tips’ on an IWB. How do these tips compare to the brainstormed list?

Organise students into small groups and assign each group one of the campfire safety tips. This could be one from the list or from the brainstorm. Students prepare a jingle or short skit illustrating their key message about campfire safety. Perform these to the rest of the class.

After their performance, ask students to reflect on their learning by visualising their safe campfire area. Using the ‘A Safe Campfire’ activity sheet, draw or write items they would have around their campfire, or rules they may have, to make the area safe. Students to take these ideas home and show their parents/carers.

Further activities

Here are some suggested extra activities to extend the students’ learning.

  • Students to design a safety poster to display near a barbecue or campfire.
  • Students to design and construct a ‘Safe Barbecue’ prototype – what features make it safe?
  • Students to create a scale drawing of a safe campfire area.
  • Invite someone from your local bushfire service to speak to the class about ways to prevent fire accidents and prepare for bushfire season.
  • Students to conduct an internet search to research further barbecue or campfire safety tips.

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Australiasian Fire and Emergency Services Council