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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Not what it scenes

Imagine a scene, share it with others, and suggest how to make it safe.

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You’ll need

  • Pens or pencils
  • A4 paper
  1. Everyone should split into small teams.
  2. The person leading the activity should give each team a category from the ‘Safety tips’ below. Each team should read through the tips for their category.
  3. Each team should spend about 15 minutes developing a short drama or story using the tips. They should try to include as many of the tips as possible – they should include characters being safe and characters being unsafe.
  1. Everyone should come back together.
  2. Each team should take it in terms to perform their story or drama. Meanwhile, the other teams should make notes of the safety tips they learn, both when characters followed them and when characters did the wrong thing. They should try to jot down where characters should have done something differently to meet the safety tip.
  3. At the end of each story, the teams should compare notes. Has anyone spotted all of the safety points?
  4. The person leading the activity should award points. The storytelling team gets a point for each tip they included – and a bonus point if the audience spot all of the points they included (because this means they communicated them super clearly). The listening teams get a point for each safety tip they spotted, and a bonus point for each safe suggestion they came up with.
  5. After each story, chat about all of the tips and make sure everyone understands what they should do.
  6. Everyone should count up the points. Who got the most? Everyone should congratulate themselves for their stories and spotting.

Lighting fires and barbecues

  • Never put used matches back in the box. Make sure they’re fully extinguished before disposing of them.
  • Don’t overload fires to keep them under control and save fuel.
  • Only use as much fuel as you need for fires and barbecues.
  • Only use proper firelighters.
  • Wait until the ashes of your barbecue have cooled before emptying them onto garden soil. Never empty them into a dustbin.
  • Only burn dry, seasoned wood in your fire or log burner to avoid creosote (chemical) deposits in the flue – these deposits can catch fire.

Electrics, appliances, and gas

  • Extension leads and adapters have a limit on how many amps they can take. Don’t overload them with too many plugs.
  • Don’t use plugs that have loose or frayed wires. Look carefully and check them every time you use them.
  • When fitting or replacing a fuse, use the right fuse for the appliance to make sure it doesn't overheat.
  • Keep the area around a heater clear so it doesn’t burn or melt anything near it.
  • Turn off appliances overnight (unless they’re designed to be left on, for example, fridges and freezers).
  • Make sure the vents and filter on your tumble drier are clear; remove lint after every load.
  • Turn off gas cookers properly after each use.
  • Check the condition of connections and hoses before using gas appliances.

Decorations and the home

  • Extinguish candles before leaving the room or moving them.
  • Make sure candles sat on stable, fire-resistant holders and are away from flammable furnishings (for example, curtains).
  • Never leave a fire door propped open – closed doors and windows can help slow the spread of a fire and starve it of oxygen.
  • Be careful when decorating for a party or festival, especially if your decorations are made from flammable materials like paper. Keep them away from electrical sockets, lamps, and other sources of heat.

Alarms and detectors

  • Smoke alarm give valuable early warnings when a fire breaks out – especially if it happens while you’re asleep. Make sure you fit one on each level of your home.
  • As well as smoke detectors, think about fitting a heat alarm. They’re especially good for kitchens because they don’t go off every time you overcooked the toast.
  • As well as smoke detectors, think about fitting a carbon monoxide monitor. Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless, toxic gas – it’s hazardous in confined spaces.
  • Test your smoke alarms regularly and make sure the battery’s working. Never disconnect them or remove the battery.
  • If you’re not sure what kind of alarm to get, get in touch with your local fire rescue service – they’ll give you advice. There are also detectors and alarms designed for deaf people, which use vibrations and strobe lights.


This activity was about developing skills. Did anyone learn anything new about fire safety? Will anyone do anything differently in the future? The best way to fight fire is to be safe and avoid it in the first place. Taking simple steps and thinking carefully will help keep people and their friends safe.

This activity was also about problem-solving. If you’re struggling to figure out how to do something, it can be helpful to think of things you definitely shouldn’t do. The remaining options are the ones you have to choose from.


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

To make it trickier, divide the safety tips up and give them to the teams randomly. Without a category, it’ll be harder to guess the points in each story.

Being in a real fire can be traumatic. Before you start this activity, think about if anyone’s ever experienced a real fire – you may want to give people the chance to let you know if they’re not comfortable taking part (or if you need to avoid a particular scenario, or make other adjustments such as having a safe space to retreat to). Everyone should know that they can stop at any time if they don’t want to carry on.

This activity’s about learning the skills to be safe in the unlikely event of a fire. People should leave feeling empowered and confident, not anxious or scared. Make sure you have time to chat at the end.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.