SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Hundreds of students in the Savannah-Chatham Public School System are earning their safety helmets this week as a part of a fire safety lesson.

The Junior Fire Marshal program is a life-saving fire prevention and safety program working to turn millions of kids across the nation into everyday heroes.

For more than 70 years, The Hartford Insurance Group has been training kids in the classroom to become “Junior Fire Marshals,” while the Junior Fire Marshal Training Academy has taught more than 111 million students using this program.

“The more we help them understand what the firefighter’s purpose is, the more we can keep them safe and keep them safe around the house,” second-grade teacher at West Chatham Elementary School Heidi Schaffner said.

“They can also help their parents be safe. The more they hear it, the more it becomes ingrained, and it just becomes second nature,” she added.

The Hartford Insurance Group has committed $5,000 to support the school district’s fire safety education efforts and programming for all K-3 students.

“One of my favorite things is how many female firefighters they have in this program to show all the little girls that you don’t have to be a guy to be a firefighter,” Schaffner said. “Anyone can be a firefighter.”

Students learned about four main fire safety lessons:

  • Don’t play with matches or lighters
  • Pay attention to smoke alarms and evacuate if the alarm sounds
  • Create a fire escape plan with your family
  • Establish an outside meeting place with your family

“I know you’re not supposed to play with matches and whenever you hear a fire alarm, get out,” said Allison Singletary, a second-grade student at West Chatham Elementary School.

“When smoke is in your house, duck down. If you can’t duck down, wear a mask,” another second-grader, Chi Tran, said. “If you don’t know if there’s a fire, you can touch the door or a smoke alarm can tell you. I have two in my house, and each of them is in a bedroom.”