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5 Questions on Fire Safety with Neil Vaughn, President of the Chester County Fire Chiefs Association

October is National Fire Prevention Month, a perfect time for children – and parents – to expand and refresh their knowledge about fire safety.

Our friends have been highly engaged in learning about the topic through various activities, from fire truck visits to themed dramatic play.

Our Infants in Warrington were busy exploring the fire truck that visited school, while older friends at The Malvern School of Jackson got into character at the “Malvern Firehouse” in the Discovery Room™.


Neil Vaughn, President of the Chester County Fire Chiefs Association (and Malvern School Dad!)

To provide valuable insight for parents on the subject, we sat down with Neil Vaughn, President of the Chester County Fire Chiefs Association (and Malvern School Dad!) to discuss five key fire safety questions.

Q:        What are the most important things young children need to know about fire safety?
A:         For young children, it is important to understand the importance of fire safety. Taking a few minutes to stress the importance of knowing two ways out of the home, what to do in the event of a fire, where the family meeting spot is in the event of fire and how to call 9-1-1 can go a long way.


Q:        What are some tips or tools parents can use when talking to young children about fire safety? 
A:         The more it is discussed and practiced, the better. Parents can make fun games out of it as well, like giving a prize for evacuating the house under a certain timeframe. Web resources such as (the National Fire Protection Agency’s [NFPA] Sparky the Fire Dog) and (United States Fire Administration) are helpful.


Q:        What type of fire safety precautions should parents take at home to protect their families?
A:         Smoke alarms are key. Making sure each home is equipped with proper smoke alarms in proper locations (one on every level, one in each sleeping room) is the best prevention a family can have. Also, practicing what to do when the smoke alarms go off, knowing two ways out of the house and having a meeting place outside of the home should an incident occur are critical.


Q:        Are there any common misconceptions parents have when it comes to protecting their families?
A:         Don’t believe everything you see. The fires that are portrayed on TV do not come close to the real thing. The materials in our homes make fire burn faster and hotter than ever before; this is giving people less time to evacuate in the event of a fire. This is another critical factor in understanding the importance of fire safety in the home and practicing it. 

Q:         What else is important for parents to know?
A:         To ask questions whenever they arise as fire safety is a serious topic. The fire station, no matter where you live, is always open; do not hesitate to reach out to have a question answered. 

If you have any specific questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to Neil directly at

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