Using code to raise awareness of fire safety!

During National Fire Safety Week (4–11 October 2021) in Ireland, Dublin Fire Brigade, Code Club, and our sister network CoderDojo joined together to launch the #Code4FireSafety Coding Challenge across the whole island of Ireland.

Young people were invited to take part to raise awareness of how we can protect ourselves and our homes from fire, by creating educational Scratch projects.

Headquarters of Dublin Fire Brigade

When Dublin Fire Brigade approached Darren Bayliss, Programme Coordinator for Code Club and CoderDojo Ireland, about running a #Code4FireSafety Coding Challenge across the whole island to highlight the importance of fire safety with our network of clubs, we were excited to collaborate on this important issue!

“Young people never fail to impress us here at Dublin Fire Station with their enthusiasm and ingenuity with any task in front of them. Fire safety and firefighting is what we do here in the Fire Brigade. But fire safety begins at home, through education and prevention, and that’s why we asked young people to take part in this challenge and help us with our fight against fire.” 

– Dennis Keeley, Chief Fire Officer, Dublin Fire Brigade

Challenge launch 

The #Code4FireSafety Coding Challenge was launched at the headquarters of Dublin Fire Brigade on 8 October and ran for six weeks. It was open to all Code Clubs and CoderDojos across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Young people were invited to create a Scratch project related to fire safety. We asked them to include themes such as smoke detectors, electronics safety (e.g. charger safety), candle safety, closing doors at night, having an escape plan, and the number to call in an emergency. Coders worked on their projects individually, and entries were judged in two age categories, ages 8–11 and 12–17.

“At a time when many of our clubs are still paused and teachers are under a great deal of pressure, this Scratch-based #Code4FireSafety Coding Challenge was a great way for those who would normally attend clubs to still feel connected whilst expressing their amazing creativity through code.” 

– Darren Bayliss, Programme Coordinator, Code Club and CoderDojo Ireland

Amazing projects

We saw 51 project entries fly in from Code Clubs and CoderDojos across Ireland. 

“With the ongoing coronavirus-related restrictions in place across Ireland, causing many clubs to still be paused, I was delighted to see that this didn’t stop young people from accepting the challenge, getting creative with code to explore the important topic of fire safety.”

– Tamasin Greenough Graham, Head of Code Club

Before we announce the winners of the #Code4FireSafety Coding Challenge, here are two projects that the team enjoyed! 

Stop, drop and roll

This one made me smile. I love the idea of fire safety from the perspective of the fire!”

– Kat Leadbetter, Community Manager, Code Club
Fire safety – help keep Fearg the Fire away!

The voice-over in this Scratch project shares some excellent fire safety advice in a very clear way. Well done!”

– Zoe Davidson, Programme Coordinator, Code Club

The winners

With 51 fantastic project entries received, a panel of judges from Code Club, CoderDojo, and Dublin Fire Brigade had the tough task of choosing six winners!  

The winners all showed great coding skills and creativity around raising awareness and exploring the topic of fire safety.

Dublin Fire Brigade generously provided the amazing prizes of Raspberry Pi 400 Personal Computer Kits for the young people who had created the winning projects within each age category.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Age category: ages 12–17

1st: Maryem – Playing With Fire – CoderDojo Midlands 

2nd: Sean – Fire Duck – Coláiste Chiaráin 

3rd: Keisha – Fire Safety – Marymount National School, Ballsgrove

Age category: ages 8–11

1st: Andrei – ‘Fire’ – North Offaly CoderDojo

2nd: Oisin – Fire 6 – Rathineska NS

3rd: Matey – Fire Safety – CoderDojo Midlands

Take a look at all of the participants’ amazing Scratch projects in our ‘Fire Safety Week Coding Challenge’ Scratch studio. We’re already planning our coding challenge with Dublin Fire Brigade for 2023, so watch this space!