Public Safety Education
You may have said that community safety education is the task of teaching people how to prevent fires and burns, and you're right. But it is much more than simply teaching about fire prevention. It involves changing the way people act. Community safety education should convince people to act safely with regard to fire and injury prevention. Community safety education also is about other safety issues. More and more, today's fire departments are providing medical services to the community. With the expansion in services, there is a corresponding expansion in risks that are of concern to the fire department.
For example, the fire department provides care for people injured in bicycle incidents. If these bicycle incidents can be prevented, then the fire department's community safety education program can be expanded to address bicycle safety. This takes community safety education beyond fire safety to injury prevention, or life safety. Life safety deals with a broad scope of safety issues including, but not limited to, fires, burns, drownings, and falls. In short, the focus of community safety education today is the prevention of fires and injuries and the promotion of life safety in the community.
The hard part, as you probably know by now, is getting a community safety education program started to address the problems. Unfortunately, there are many challenges to starting a successful community safety education program. Those challenges may include a shortage of resources in your department.
The National Fire Academy has many resources that are available for use by fire departments including advertising in print or electronic formats and education services to assist in training individuals to develop public safety programs.