Already in 2015, MySafe:LA has awarded more than 1,200 students in LAUSD their honorary Junior Fire Inspector ID card for successful completion of the 3-part home safety and fire prevention program. “These students are being recognized for taking an active role in making their homes and families are secure,” said MySafe:LA executive officer David Barrett. “We are very proud of their accomplishments. This program involves active investigation of the home, testing all smoke alarms to ensure they work, or if they are missing, arranging to have them installed. Fine work by these young people!” Barrett remarked following an award presentation at Limerick Elementary School in the San Fernando Valley.
The Junior Fire Inspector program is just one of the many programs managed by MySafe:LA and supported by the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Los Angeles Unified School District. Students are put through a multi-part educational process. One of the key steps is for students to inspect their homes for working smoke alarms. If they do not have alarms, MySafe:LA provides an alarm at no charge. MySafe:LA also has installation teams that will respond to any corner of the city and install alarms for free.
Once students complete the program, an awards event is held, often including the local fire company. At Limerick Elementary school, for example, Engine Company 104 attended and assisted with delivery of the “official” honorary Inspector ID cards to those students who successfully completed the program.
One of the questions we often get is, “does everyone graduate?” and the answer, unfortunately is no. While we’d love to see a 100% completion rate, that doesn’t occur. For any number of reasons, some students either are unable or unwilling to successfully complete the program. Overall, the completion rate is at 78% for 20015. That’s a little below the 83% average since the program began. There are a multitude of factors that may contribute to anyone not completing the program — including that our education teams often work with Title 1 schools, wherein a number of students may be transient in their living conditions.
As summer is approaching, MySafe:LA is about to embark on a new phase of the Junior Fire Inspector program: delivery of the program at rec and parks facilities. This new edition of our fire safety initiative will reach a wider age range, and often a larger audience. Check back in the fall and we’ll share our results for the program overall and for this new niche approach to teaching fire and life safety.