One way to help children learn about fire safety is to train them in a safe environment that mimics the situations they face in fire. Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines has developed a fire safety house that tours the state providing such training. Lind Plummer is the safety house coordinator, and says it’s actually built inside an R-V.

Plummer says it contains the three rooms where a fire starts the most often in a home — the kitchen, living room and bedroom. Kids can tour the three rooms and find out about common fire hazards. Operators can pump theatrical smoke into the bedroom to allow the kids to learn how to crawl low under smoke, and they also learn how to feel a door for fire, and climb down a fire escape ladder.

Plummer says their fire safe house and others used in the state do make a difference. She says the research shows that kids who have gone through such a program are many more times likely to get out of a fire alive. Plummer says the house prepares kids so they can react with confidence in there is a fire. Plummer says younger children are most likely to not get out of a fire, because they don’t know recognize the danger and know how to react to a fire or smoke.

Plummer says they take the house out from April through October. She says it’s funding by grants and donations, with the primary cost being fuel. Plummer says you can contact the hospital to find out about scheduling a training session with the Fire Safety House. Or surf This past week was fire prevention week.