Education In Europe: How The Hazard House Is Used In Germany

Education In Europe: How The Hazard House Fire Safety Simulator Is Used In Germany


Herbert Christ has been a Fire Safety Educator at Kreisfeuerwehrverband Gotha – the County Fire Association of Gotha, in the state of Thuringia – since 1999. His organization mainly teaches schools and kindergartens about the basics of fire and energy safety, using the Modeltech Hazard House as a presentation tool. 


"It's a great invention", says Herbert Christ. "The kids are amazed by the level of details and small moveable parts". Mr. Christ says that children's natural curiosity makes them quick to point out moving elements that could be overlooked during the presentation. "The kids end up teaching the firefighters!"

He further adds that his fellow educators enjoy working with the new simulator, finding it easy to use. "It does most of the work by itself!"

Timing couldn't be more perfect to release a new version of the simulator in Germany. After an annual meeting with Fire Safety Educators from all 16 German states, Mr. Christ observed that "people are more and more concerned about fire safety, and regulation is becoming more strict regarding smoke detectors."

The County Fire Association of Gotha works closely with state associations, and Herbert Christ has long been Chief of the Kreisjugendfeuerwehr Gotha – the County Fire Association for Young Firefighters. Similar to the Air Cadets or Boy Scouts, the Association helps youths 6 to 18 years old from over 1,000 schools achieve personal growth and build self-esteem through competitions and workshops.

See our new video from Gotha Fire Department, Germany.

 

How European Fire Departments Are Using The New Hazard House

How European Fire Departments Are Using The New Hazard House Fire Safety Simulator


The Hague Region Fire Department – The Netherlands


Annelies Engelenburg is Program Leader of the Public Education Fire Prevention Program at the The Hague Region Fire Department, a group of several fire stations working as a single entity.While the organization features a centralized structure, Fire Educators are encouraged to adapt their work locally and take into account their neighborhood's unique needs.

 

Some activities are staples across the region (presentations in elementary schools, during city fairs, etc.), while some high-risk areas require more attention, such as home visits. "Next year, we plan on hosting Fire Prevention Sessions after fire incidents, with people who have just experienced a home fire", mentions Ms. Engelenburg.

In addition to the Hazard House simulator, the The Hague Region Fire Department uses several education tools as part of its presentations: booklets, stickers, giveaways... The organization also has a special educational package for younger children in high-risk areas, as well as a mobile Home Safety Trailer. "We're also developing a Fire Education Center for older children and teenagers", says Ms. Engelenburg. "It will be a dedicated wing inside a local fire station and provide the perfect learning environment for presentations and workshops."

While the Hazard House is only a recent addition to the Department, Fire Safety Educators are very enthusiastic to use it in the field and enjoy the freedom it provides. "Our most experienced educators enjoy that the Hazard House is a non-linear tool that can match their individual presentation style. Some like to start with a daily routine, others approach it room-by-room, others ask the audience questions..."

In the Netherlands, Ms. Engelenburg has observed a gradual shift from fire response to fire prevention. "Our work is not just about extinguish fires or preventing them from spreading: it's about making sure they don't happen in the first place!". Fire education is now becoming a national effort, with long-term goals and a more closely organized structure.

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