"It's as real life as we can make it:" MFD teaches kids how to escape a burning house

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Do you have an escape plan if your home catches fire? Monday, October 6th kicks off Fire Prevention week across the country. In Milwaukee, the fire department educates the youngest generation in the most life-like way possible

“Go! Go! Get down, get down, get low, get low," said one firefighter to the kids during the drills.

Second graders from Vieau Elementary School work to escape a simulated house fire. While smoke fills the air, they are taught to roll and stay low, as they feel for heat. A firefighter stays by their side, making sure they are doing the drill safely. The theme this year is "Working smoke alarms save lives."

"They make a beep sound," said 2nd grader Izack Zavala.

A classroom portion teaches the kids how to check smoke detector batteries, but the drill is the most important part. It prepares kids for what it's like to be caught in a house fire.

“It’s as real life as we can make it without getting anyone hurt," said Lt. Bill Paulin with the Milwaukee Fire Department.

The kids have about three minutes to get everyone out of the house safely, and run through the drill. They even call 911 and speak to a real dispatcher.

The kids learn the very basics of fire safety too.

“Not to play with matches or lighters, because it can cause your house to be on fire," said Zavala.

A total of 13, 000 kids each year go through the "Survive Alive" house. Every MPS 2nd grader goes through the training, and they run through it again in 5th grade.

Events for Fire Prevention Week run through Saturday, October 11th.