Six-year-old Hayden Sather and his family were sitting down to lunch at his grandparents’ Alberta, Canada, home when the smoke alarms started to sound and they saw smoke at the front of the house. That’s when Hayden promptly directed his twelve-year-old sister outside, a behavior he’d learned through NFPA’s Learn Not to Burn program.
“I just saw smoke coming at the front door window and I didn’t know what happened. Then I…quickly got my boots on and stayed outside with my sister,” said Hayden.
The fire department was called and Hayden’s father ran outside to try to put out the fire, which reportedly started when a cigarette was discarded in an outside garbage can; the other adults rushed to round up the two cats and the dog. Hayden, meanwhile, snapped into action.
“I put on my boots and went outside and stayed calm,” he said. After meeting up with his mom outside, he told her that she shouldn’t go back in the house.
Hayden's family was proud of him and impressed by his ability to stay cool under pressure. When they asked him how he knew what to do in a fire, he told them about Grande Prairie Fire Prevention Officer Trevor Schwabe, who’d spent a day with his Kindergarten class to teach Learn Not to Burn.
Each year, Grande Prairie Fire Prevention hosts the program in partnership with the local Burn Society, targeting students in Kindergarten and Grade 2, with Officer Schwabe at the helm.
“It’s exciting to know Hayden did the right things,” said Schwabe. “Hayden kept his sister calm, Hayden told his mom not to go back inside – all the things that we’re teaching.”
Learn Not to Burn has served as the pillar of NFPA educational programs for more than 40 years, reaching children with proven educational strategies that incorporate NFPA’s philosophy of teaching positive, practical fire safety messaging.