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Spot Fire - Early stage 1 and stage 1

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Bush fire safety

Introduction

The ‘What’s a Spot Fire?’ safety message explores the issue of spot fires being created by flying embers and sparks. Spot fires can cause major damage to properties. It is important to protect your home from this risk by covering gaps and drainpipes where embers or sparks might cause a fire.

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

Links to NSW Curriculum

Geography

Environment strand

  • ENES1 – Gathers information about the natural and built environments and communicates some of the ways in which they interact with, and can care for, these environments.
  • ENS1.5 – Compares and contrasts natural and built features in their local area and the ways in which people interact with these features.
  • ENS1.6 – Demonstrates an understanding of the relationship between environments and people

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

Personal Health strand

  • PHS1.12 – Recognises that positive health choices can promote wellbeing.

Safe Living strand

  • SLES1.13 – Demonstrates an emerging awareness of the concepts of safe and unsafe living.
  • SLS1.13 – Recognises that their safety depends on the environment and the behavior of themselves and others.

English

  • ENe-11D – responds to and composes simple text about familiar aspects of the world and their own experiences.
  • EN1-11D - responds to and composes simple text about familiar aspects of the world and their own experiences

Science

  • STe-7NE – observes, using their senses, how daily and seasonal changes in the environment affect them and other living things.
  • ST1-8ES – describes some observable changes that occur in the sky and landscape.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Students will learn what a spot fire is and how they start.
  • Students will identify areas in their school that may be spot fire hazards.

Resources

Lesson steps

As a class, watch the ‘What’s a Spot Fire?’ video. Ask students to discuss the safety message, record their responses. Questions could include:

  • What was Amy’s Mum doing?
  • Why do the gaps need to be covered?
  • What was she using to cover the gaps?
  • What is a spot fire?
  • What other gap did Trev say needed to be covered?

In the video, Amy’s Mum said spot fires can start from flying embers or sparks. This happens when they land on fire fuel (such as dry vegetation) or they get caught in gaps or crevices.

In small groups, students to walk around the school grounds and find areas that may be spot fire hazards. Look for areas with lots of dry vegetation, areas where sparks could be created (consider work sheds, garden equipment, etc.) and places where there are gaps for embers or sparks to land and/or catch. Students to take photographs or draw pictures of the hazard areas.

Depending on your class, students may wish to record this information on the ‘Spot Fire Audit’ activity sheet.

Explain to students that if spot fires are dealt with quickly, they can be extinguished before causing any major damage. Spot fires can be extinguished with things such as wet towels, buckets of water, wet mops, water pistols, hoses, etc. Ask students to brainstorm any other household items that could be used.

Safety note: Children should not be encouraged to extinguish spot fires themselves, however they can help to prepare buckets of water, wet towels, etc.
As a class (or in small groups) make a ‘Putting out spot fires’ chart that records items that can be used to extinguish spot fires. Make copies of the chart for students to illustrate/colour and take home.

Further activities

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

  • Invite someone from your state or territory fire agency to speak to the class about ways to prepare for bushfire season.
  • Research types of material that would be suitable to use when covering gaps. What properties do the materials have that make them suitable?
  • Students to research what a fire needs to start and stay alight.

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Australiasian Fire and Emergency Services Council