Fire Prevention in Schools
In fire prevention work by the fire chief one of the most important branches is that which deals with propaganda in the public schools. Here he is dealing with first principles. The scholars before whom he, or some good speaker in the fire department delegated by him as a representative, brings the teachings of Fire Prevention will probably be some day not so very far distant grown citizens of his city, on whom will rest the responsibility of assisting in preserving the city from conflagration.
It is perhaps a rather difficult matter to bring the subject of Fire Prevention before the average scholar in a manner that is attractive and that does not savor of too much statistics. And yet this can be done with a little judgment ans a little tact so that the person addressing the youthful hearers will hold their attention with little trouble. A small amount of humor interspersed with such an address is of great help. In fact, one of the most successful propagandists among the children of public schools is the “Fire Prevention Clown” who, by means of buffoonery, with considerable wisdom intermixed, holds the attention of the young people from beginning to end of his very clever addresses.
Of course, there are few who would care to or in fact could follow the example of this clever lecturer but there are many ways in which the speaker representing the fire department can bring the matter of fire prevention before the scholars in an interesting, attractive and partially humorous way.
A very important part of the visit of the chief or his representative is the necessity of his appearing in uniform. This lends a certain authority to the speaker and increases his prestige among his youthful listeners. A uniform to the average youth of either sex is a badge of authority and will impress them and insure their attention.
Some excellent suggestions along the line of addresses of this kind are made by the author of the paper on fire prevention in schools in this week’s issue, who is a woman and who, as assistant to the state fire marshal of Ohio, has done great work in this respect. Her paper is well worthy of perusal.