The NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) today announced that, in recognition of “National Coloring Book Day,” coloring books will be distributed to families throughout the rest of the month, teaching children the importance of fire safety.
The “Fire Safety Activity Coloring Books” will be distributed to families through Family Enrichment Centers (FEC) and Community Partnerships, both funded by ACS and locally operated. In addition to coloring books, families will be given a smoke alarm as well as an invitation to either attend a virtual session with the FDNY Fire Safety Education Unit (FSEU) to learn about how to properly install the alarm and conduct ongoing maintenance or to participate in such training at a local community event.
“Families are spending more time at home because of COVID-19, so we believe it’s crucial to continue our efforts to educate children and families about the importance of preventing fires. The FDNY’s fire safety coloring books offer a smart way to teach our children these very important lessons,” said ACS Commissioner David A. Hansell. “I want to thank the FDNY for its continued partnership with ACS and our community providers, including recognizing this year’s National Coloring Book Day through the distribution of fire safety coloring books, as well as providing free smoke alarms and virtual training sessions.”
“Teaching children about the dangers of fire and how they can keep themselves and their families safe is a cornerstone of our fire safety education program,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “We are proud to partner with ACS on this mission to reach children and their families with these critical life-saving lessons.”
The “Fire Safety Activity Coloring Book” features the FDNY’s mascots Hotdog and Siren and is designed to help children understand the basic concepts of fire safety, burn prevention and emergency procedures. A copy of the “Fire Safety Coloring Book” can be viewed here.
According to the FDNY, civilian fire deaths decreased by 25% in 2019 with 66 deaths compared to 88 deaths in 2018 continuing a trend over the last 14 years with fewer than 100 deaths annually in the city. Through partnerships with community groups, elected officials, schools, senior centers, and various city agencies, the FDNY Fire Safety Education Unit (FSEU) coordinated or participated in more than 7,500 events in 2019, reaching more than 580,000 New Yorkers, a 4% increase from 2018.
Today’s announcement is part of an oqngoing partnership between FDNY and ACS. In 2018, FDNY began training Child Protective Specialists on how to examine homes for potential fire hazards and better educate children and families about the importance of fire safety. To date, more than 2,000 frontline staff have received training.
The coloring books will be distributed via ACS’ three Family Enrichment Centers (FECs) and Community Partnerships. The FECs are walk-in centers funded by ACS that are co-designed with families in the community who determine what activities are offered and how they are designed, organized and run. Currently, the three FECs are each located in communities that have historically experienced high rates of reported child abuse and neglect: East New York (Brooklyn), Highbridge (Bronx), and Hunts Point/Longwood (Bronx). The Community Partnerships are a network for provider agencies and community leaders/residents to share resources and information that address community needs. Both place-based programs are part of the agency’s primary prevention approach to reducing child maltreatment, an approach that pro-actively builds on families’ strengths and addresses needs that may unintentionally lead to child welfare involvement if left unaddressed.
For more information about the Family Enrichment Centers or Community Partnerships, please visit here.