Pram Jam with Beth – Fire! Fire!

Ahh 2021… we all had such high hopes and these first few months have been a bit of a kick in the guts, to be honest. I sincerely hope that we’re going to turn it around!

I wanted to talk just a little today about fire safety and preparing your home and family for the possibility of fire. Not just bush fire, which is where many people’s minds go when ‘fire’ is mentioned, but also domestic and vehicle fires. We had a very scary wake up call last week and it really reinforced for me the importance of testing smoke alarms, teaching my kids some basic fire awareness skills and having a ‘grab and go’ plan in place. So now, I have a reminder set on my calendar to do a fire alarm test every 6 months (not just on April Fool’s day as is typical for many!), I have all of our important documents in a folder which I keep close at hand, and I’ve reinforced the ‘stop drop and roll’ message and escape routes with my children.

Fire Fire

I am not surprised that so many little ones are fascinated by fire trucks and firefighters, they are absolute heroes! Our firies here in Western Australia have been overstretched again this year, I wonder how many of our children might grow up to be volunteer or career firefighters?

Image by Sergio Pavlishko from Pixabay

I used to see the advertisements on the TV about having a fire readiness plan and think ‘Nah, bushfires won’t effect us in the middle of the city’ and for the most part, since we moved last year, I am technically correct. But actually, in late January and early February we had ash falling at our house from the Gidgegannup fires, and the smoke impacted our air quality for many days. My asthmatic son felt the effects the most and all of us experienced the heaviness of the situation emotionally (especially as it was compounded by our snap covid-19 lockdown!). Now, I know better.

Fire really does impact us, even in the city.

The reality for City of Cockburn residents is rather different. Many who would consider themselves ‘inner urban’ dwellers have already found themselves under ‘watch and act’ bushfire warnings this year. We are fortunate to have great pockets of natural bushland around our beautiful city which needs ongoing management to minimise the risk of out of control fires impacting on homes. The importance of firebreaks and verge maintenance can not be overstated.

My experiences and understanding of fire started as a very young baby, when my dad worked for the Forests Department (later known as CALM) in country WA. He worked long hours in very stressful conditions and ultimately decided that the work was too dangerous for a family man, which was why he moved us all up to Perth so that he could attend university and retrain. I suppose that knowing his opinion of fire influenced my respect for the dangers he highlighted! And so whenever we go camping or use sparklers, or my Dad uses tools on his semi-rural property, we are very conscious of the fire ratings in our decision making.

 

Through the smoke / Phil Cummings ; Andrew McLean.

The fire awoke like a dragon. Its flames licked the sky, and smoke veiled the sun. With a hungry crackle and an angry hiss, the cruel beast circled, trapping them. Until, through the smoke, knights appeared. Through the Smoke tells the story of three kids, their imagination and a frightening fire in the Australian bush.

Cover image for :  Through the smoke / Phil Cummings ; Andrew McLean.
Cover Image for: The fire wombat / Jackie French and Danny Snell.

The fire wombat / Jackie French and Danny Snell.

As the flames of the bushfire approach, one small wombat is bravely followed by other animals to the safety of her underground burrow.

Grandpa’s farm : a summer’s day / Alan Robinson.

Matt is spending his summer holidays on Grandpa’s Farm. Through Matt’s eyes we get an inside look at the joys and challenges of family life on a farm with all the drama of a bush fire. The story affirms the courage of people young and old when threatened with a bush fire. A stirringly personal account of farm life.

 

Cover Image for: Grandpa's farm : a summer's day / Alan Robinson.
Cover Image for: No dragons for tea : fire safety for kids (and dragons) / written by Jean Pendziwol ; illustrated by Martine Gourbault.

No dragons for tea : fire safety for kids (and dragons) / written by Jean Pendziwol ; illustrated by Martine Gourbault.

Rhymed text and illustrations show what happened at a tea party when a friendly dragon sneezed. Includes a fire safety rhyme and a checklist of things to be prepared to do in case of fire.

You can’t call an elephant in an emergency / Patricia Cleveland-Peck ; illustrated by David Tazzyman.

You can’t call an elephant in an emergency… He’ll blunder around and trumpet with glee. Then tangle the hoses and cause a flood and laugh as the fire crew slips in the mud! A traffic cop sloth? A llama lifeguard? A paramedic chimpanzee? In case of emergency, you’d do best to avoid all of these creatures. Find it why in this hilarious picture book filled with the most unlikely rescue attempts.

 

Cover Image for: You can't call an elephant in an emergency / Patricia Cleveland-Peck ; illustrated by David Tazzyman.

When the fires kick off, the trucks get going!

Ten little fire trucks rhyme page

Sweet dreams and peaceful nights to all…

May we all have sweet, safe dreams under our twinkling stars…

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I hope that you are all staying safe and well over these long hot days, we have moved into the season of Bunuro or second summer, and while the days will continue to be toasty, at least we can all look forward to the afternoon breezes and swims at the beach. Or, if you’re as sun-phobic as I am, why not stay home and binge watch some Chicago Fire? Some of us would call that ‘research’ 😉