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Survive Alive House

Photo of a Milwaukee Fire Fighter educating a kid on how to exit from a house window.

The Milwaukee Fire Education Center’s Survive Alive House is located at 2059 S. 20th Street. The House opened its doors in 1992, and each year over 13,000 Milwaukee children visit it to learn how to survive in the event of an actual home fire.  The program is jointly managed by the Milwaukee Fire Department and Milwaukee Recreation, a department of Milwaukee Public Schools.

The Survive Alive House is designed to teach 2nd and 5th grade students fire safety and prevention techniques. The house holds 66 students at a time, with a minimum size group of 10 students. Students visit the Survive Alive House for a fire prevention program that lasts approximately 90 minutes. The Survive Alive House is open for two sessions, 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., Monday – Friday, for private and public schools located in the City of Milwaukee. Community-based, youth-serving organizations also utilize the facility.

The Survive Alive Program consists of a three-component curriculum. Children first receive classroom instruction on fire safety from their teacher and then are allowed to visit the House for a 90-minute instruction given by Milwaukee firefighters on how to escape a fire. Lastly, the students are given supplemental materials to reinforce what they learned in the program.

During students’ visit at the Survive Alive House, they have classroom training as well as hands-on practical training. In the House, a group of students enter a replica of a child’s bedroom and pretend they are sleeping. While they are asleep, the room begins to fill with smoke and the smoke alarm sounds. The children are instructed to roll out of bed, crawl across the floor to a door, and use the back of their hand to check the temperature of that 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.

To learn more about the Survive Alive House, please call 414-777-7889.

Donate to the Survive Alive House

The Milwaukee Fire Department and Milwaukee Public Schools support the operation of the Survive Alive House. However, enhancements to the program and some operating expenses are funded by the Foundation for the Milwaukee Fire Education Center.

The foundation pays for many ongoing expenses including learning materials handed out to the visitors, supplies, and maintenance to the theatrical equipment used to give the house a sense of realism.

The Foundation is constantly investing in the program to better serve Milwaukee's children. We ask that you contribute to the Survive Alive House directly or through United Way. The Foundation is a federally and Wisconsin-recognized 501(c) 3 nonprofit charity. Please call 414-777-7889 or visit website for more information about our current needs or to make a contribution.

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