Survive Alive House
Dedicated to saving Milwaukee's future
The Survive Alive House is a joint endeavor with the Foundation for the Milwaukee Fire Education Center, Milwaukee Fire Department and Milwaukee Public Schools' Division of Recreation and Community Services.
In the fall of 1987, a series of house fires devastated Milwaukee by claiming the lives of 31 people including 18 children. In response to this tragic loss of life, a Fire Prevention Task Force was appointed to explore ways in which the Milwaukee community could prevent future fire fatalities from occurring. The concept of a Fire Safety Education Center was proposed to the task force for consideration.
It was felt that a fire safety and prevention program introduced at an early age would be an effective way of teaching children to escape from a fire. The task force approved the proposal in December of 1987 and a committee consisting of individuals from throughout the community was formed to begin planning and development of the program.
THE SURVIVE ALIVE HOUSE
The Milwaukee Fire Education Center's Survive Alive House officially opened its doors in February 1992. Over 13,000 Milwaukee children visit each year to learn to survive in the event of an actual fire in the home. The house is available to public and private schools located in the City of Milwaukee. City based community groups with a minimum of twenty 7 to 12 year old children also utilize the facility. The Milwaukee Public Schools' Division of Recreation and Community Services and the Milwaukee Fire Department operate the facility . MFD members, with the assistance of MPS Recreation staff and community volunteers, teach proper escape methods. Funding for capital improvements and certain operating expenses is provided by the nonprofit Foundation for the Milwaukee Fire Education Center.
||The Survive Alive House is located on Milwaukee's near south side. The building originally was the MPS Becher Field House. In the early 1990's, the building was expanded and now contains "a house within a house"|
A VIEW INSIDE
The house contains two children's bedrooms complete with beds, dressers and toys. Electrically controlled heated doors, fire simulation lighting and non-toxic smoke all combine to offer a realistic fire experience for the participants. A control room located between the bedrooms allows the operator to vary the fire scenarios. From the control room, staff is able to view each bedroom and provide additional supervision for the participants.
The Fire Education Center contains two classrooms that provide an ideal setting for discussions on fire safety. These discussions help to reinforce the practical training the students receive. The Milwaukee Public Schools, the Milwaukee Fire Department and the Milwaukee Safety Commission jointly approve fire safety curriculum materials.
The program consists of a three-component curriculum. In preparation for their visit, children receive classroom instruction on fire safety from their teacher. The visit to the facility consists of 90 minutes of instruction from Milwaukee firefighters. This includes a classroom discussion and a realistic experience in escaping from a fire. If time allows, the students watch a fire safety video. Supplemental materials are distributed at the children's school to reinforce what was learned at the Survive Alive House.
A firefighter dons the gear used when fighting a fire. Sometimes firefighters wearing protective gear can appear frightening to children. If children can see how a fully protected firefighter looks in a safe environment, such as the Survive Alive House, they will not be afraid to see one during an actual fire. They will know that the firefighter is there to save them.
The fire prevention training students receive during the classroom portion of their visits is reinforced with hands on practical experience. A group of children enter a replica of a child's bedroom. As they are "sleeping" the room begins to fill with smoke. The smoke detector is sounded and children are instructed to roll out of bed. They crawl across the floor to a door. Using the back of their hand, the children check the temperature of the door. If the door is warm or if they see smoke when peeking out the door, they must exit via an alternate route. Once all the children in the house have escaped and arrived at their meeting place, one student is instructed to call 911 to explain their emergency. A "dispatcher" in the control room answers the call. Another group of children is then selected to enter the house. They experience a variation of the scenario. This occurs until all visitors have escaped from a "fire."
||A firefighter assists a child climbing out of a window using a window rescue ladder. At the Survive Alive House children learn different ways to exit a burning building safely. As part of the curriculum they learn fire escape safety such as the proper way to feel if a door is hot for safe exiting, how to crawl below the smoke if a fire should occur and the proper method of calling 911 in a fire emergency. Children are taught the 15-step Be Sure to Be Safe fire safety course.|
Between 1987 and 1991, 68 children lost their lives in fires. Seventeen of those children were between the ages 7 and 17. After opening its doors in 1992, the number of fire fatalities for this target age group dropped dramatically. Continuing fire safety education is essential to eliminating all fire fatalities.
To book an outing for your group or for additional information, please email email@example.com or call 385-3240
The program is designed for 2nd and 5th grade students. The capacity of the building is 66 students. The minimum size group is 20 students. If your group contains less than 20 students, please call so arrangements can be made to combine your students with another group. PARENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND THE SESSION WITH THEIR CHILDREN!
Usual start times are 10:00am and Noon. A typical programs lasts about 90 minutes. The center is open most weekdays during the school year. There is a limited summer schedule. There are no provisions for eating lunch in the building, so please plan accordingly.