Fire Safety Canvassing: A Collaborative Event


Jay Phatak

Caption: Carolyn Chen (12), Secretary of Irvington Red Cross, describes how to routinely check smoke alarms. Chen and other officers explained that more than half of home fire deaths occur during the night, so the importance of smoke alarms during home fires cannot be stressed enough.

On Nov. 19th, IHS Science & Eco Club and Irvington Red Cross Club collaboratively held the “Fire Safety Canvassing” event. Officers from both clubs shared important information about fire safety and precaution. Then, a guest speaker from the American Red Cross also spoke about his experiences and advice regarding home fires and wildfires. Participants also drew their own fire escape plans and played a quick Kahoot to test their knowledge about fire safety.

The entirety of the two clubs, Red Cross and Science & Eco, worked together to plan this event, making the slideshow and Kahoot together. Irvington Red Cross Club contacted the American Red Cross to invite the guest speaker Royce Buell, a Regional Disaster Preparedness Coordinator.

“We wanted to do this event because of the recent fires…especially how close the wildfires are to Fremont,” said Michelle Chan (11), secretary of Sci/Eco Club. “And that really inspired us to host something that could prepare the students for real situations that they could face.”

The event started with an informative presentation that explained the causes of home fires and wildfires, provided statistics about the scale of the issue, and even included many helpful infographics about preparation for emergencies such as home fires. Then the officers led an activity in which participants drew their own fire “escape plans” in order to truly prepare for such emergencies. Those who completed their drawing later received service hours as well.

For the next portion of the workshop, the guest speaker, Royce Buell, shared his own experience in handling wildfires and talking to families who were forced to evacuate recently. He explained to combat the increasing home fires, the Red Cross employs a three-part strategy of preparedness (being aware and ready for fire emergencies), response (properly tackling the fire itself) and recovery (safely retrieving lost possessions). He concluded by reminding all attendees about the importance of fire safety. The event then ended with a fast-paced Kahoot with questions about fire safety information from the slideshow.

“[Fire safety] is a serious issue,” said Charlotte Chau (11), a participant at the event, “so it’s good to see that our classmates are participating and willing to learn about this topic. And hopefully, this will create a big change [in their lives].” 

Overall the “Fire Safety Canvassing” workshop was a success with over 50 students attended and informed about fire safety, a very relevant issue for all Fremont residents. IHS Science & Eco Club and Irvington Red Cross Club are interested in planning similar events in the future to educate students on other important issues.