Dollhouses Spark Conversation about Fire Safety

Armed with screwdrivers and one page of instructions, Red Cross volunteers build dollhouses for fire safety instruction, July 31, 2013.
Armed with screwdrivers and one page of instructions, Red Cross volunteers build dollhouses for fire safety instruction, July 2013.

Upon walking into the Preparedness office at the Red Cross in Minneapolis late last July, you may have thought you had instead stepped into a preschool playroom.  You were, in fact, in the correct place. The confusion was caused by 10 pastel colored dollhouses, all of which include over 50 pieces of furniture and two dolls.  These dollhouses, built by Red Cross volunteers, and will be used throughout the region to teach families, especially children, about fire safety.

A new dollhouse was first used during National Night Out in Maple Grove, Minnesota.  At this event it was clear the dollhouse was a hit.  Children loved them. And conversations about what to do during a fire started easily with the dollhouse prompt.  Volunteers engaged both children and adults when they asked, “Do you have a plan if there’s a fire in your home?”

A Red Cross volunteer sparks the conversation about fire safety using a new dollhouse, Maple Grove, Minnesota, 2013.
A Red Cross volunteer sparks the conversation about fire safety using a new dollhouse, Maple Grove, Minnesota, July 2013.

The dollhouse project was adopted from our Safety Mobile Program. The next step for the dollhouses will be distribution around the Northern Minnesota Region, especially during October, fire safety month, when the dollhouses will be present at fire department open houses.   

If you’d like to help teach others about fire safety or would like a dollhouse to come to your city’s fire department open house, you can call the Red Cross at 612-871-7676. You can also download our First Aid mobile app with helpful information about preparing for home fires and other emergencies.

Story and photos by:  Ellie Decker, Preparedness Intern, American Red Cross Northern Minnesota Region

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