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Fire safety tips for pupils

The Safe Kids at Home is a fun and interactive session that teaches primary school children about fire safety.



Sunday, 4 June 2017

WHEN asked if they had ever been burned or scalded, a whole class raised their hands.
The pupils then went on to relate how they got burnt from touching a hot stove, an exhaust pipe or iron, and by playing with lighters, firecrackers and candles.

And when Cikgu Eddy Azuan Senin asked the pupils of SK Kiaramas in Kuala Lumpur how they treated their burns, answers ranged from applying toothpaste, butter or ice on the affected part of their body.

“Putting toothpaste, butter or ice on a wound will make it worse,” said Cikgu Eddy, an educator of the Safe Kids At Home: Preventing Fire and Burns programme.
Safe Kids at Home is a programme designed to help prevent fires, burns and scalds among primary schoolchildren.

It is a pilot project by Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Honeywell based on a 2016 study conducted by Safe Kids Malaysia and UPM, which found that one child dies from a fire or burn every two weeks in Malaysia.

“The study also states that 83% of parents surveyed, said they used toothpaste to treat a burn, which is alarming as it may actually worsen the injury and increase the risk of infection and scars,” said Assoc Prof Dr Kulanthayan K. C. Mani from UPM.

Since March, the programme has been carried out in nine primary schools in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, involving about 6,000 pupils.

The schools are SK Kiaramas, SK Seri Delima, SK Bandar Baru Sentul, SK Sentul 1, SJK (T) Segambut, SJK (T) Fletcher, SJK (T) Sentul, SJK (C) Chung Kwok and SJK (C) Sentul Pasar.

“Sentul has the highest number of fire incidents in KL. We hope this programme will reduce fire incidents in the long run,” said Dr Kulanthayan who is also Safe Kids Malaysia executive director
He added that as burns is a preventable injury, the problem can be eradicated with the right education.
“Safe Kids at Home is an intervention programme, particularly in fire prevention. It aims to transfer knowledge and mould behaviour from a young age, so safety and preventive methods becomes a practice,” he explained.

Lessons on safety

The Safe Kids At Home: Preventing Fire and Burns programme is two-pronged. There is a 90-minute classroom session and a 90-minute hands-on demonstration conducted by KL’s Fire and Rescue Department.

The classroon session covered various situations that touched on electrical, fire and burn safety, firecrackers, and escaping from a fire.

During a session at SK Kiaramas, Cikgu Eddy spoke to pupils in a Year Five class on just how quickly a fire spreads.

“It takes less than five minutes for a fire to spread and engulf an entire house, which leaves little time to react. So, being prepared is the key to survival.”

He also listed household items that may pose a threat, if used carelessly.

“Mosquito coils, irons, lighters, light bulbs, plug points, stoves and candles are common items that have the potential to start a fire,” he said.

Fun and interactive, the session was a hit among the students. They were seen answering questions thrown at them, and asking questions of their own. They even shared their “fiery” stories, experiences and mishaps.

Hafizuddin Zunohan, 11, from class 5C, shared that he has burned himself countless times while cooking, riding on his father’s motorcycle and while playing with firecrackers. Each time, he would leave the wound to heal on its own.

After the class, Hafizuddin said: “I now know I have to wash my wound under running water for 10 minutes, then tell my parents if I am hurt.”

Tanesh Thirukesan, 11 from class 5K said he liked the session because it was exciting and fun as there were different activities for the pupils.

“We learnt what causes a fire and what to do when it happens,” he said. His most common mistake? “I always put a lot of plugs in one socket, and would turn on switches or plug (a socket) with wet hands,” he answered.

In addition to the classroom lesson, a fire and burn safety demonstration will be carried out on a separate day by the Fire and Rescue Department.The department will teach children how to put out a fire using the correct fire extinguisher, held in the correct direction. It will also train teachers, staff and its security guards on how to react and handle a fire.

SK Kiaramas senior assistant (co-curriculum) Zarinom Mohd Noor stressed that it is crucial for pupils to know about fire prevention and safety because a fire can happen anywere and at any time.
“Whan a fire happens, it is important that pupils know what to do,” she said.

Zarinom hopes this pilot project will become part of the school syllabus so that all pupils will be equipped to fight a fire and protect themselves.

But it doesn’t end with the children. “We encourage the kids to share what they have learnt at school with their parents. We even give them brochures to pass to their parents, and activities such as mapping out an escape plan, in case a fire happens at home.

“So, this programme has the potential to reach more than just the 6,000 students we teach,” said Dr Kulanthayan.



Tarikh Input: 08/06/2017 | Kemaskini: 08/06/2017 | ahmadmustafa


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