The Safety City Curriculum

The Safety City curriculum was developed by the Abilene Police Department, Abilene Independent School District teachers, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Abilene Fire Department.

We suggest teachers spend approximately 5-8 hours instructing the students on the safety information prior to their visit. Students should have a good "working knowledge" of the information so that they can practice what they have learned in our safe environment.

The Fire Safety House

Beginning with the 2009 school year, a brand new "state of the art" fire safety educational building has been put to use at the Safety City campus. The building was built through donations and without any taxpayer dollars being used.

Visitors are able to learn first-hand about the basics of fire safety: Stop, drop, and roll; don’t play with matches; stay low and go; and much more.

The Fire Safety House

The "engine room" is where the groups meet to watch videos and interact with the staff on safety topics including smoke detectors, escape plans, and safe meeting places.

The "kitchen" is like most real kitchens. It has a sink, stove, cabinets, phone, etc. Kitchens and cooking can be good things, but can also be dangerous. We talk about ways to be safe when cooking.

In the "bedroom" or "smoke room" we talk about what to do in case of a fire, and how to get out safely. At the end, we fill the room with artificial smoke and the kids practice the fire drill we talked about.

All three rooms use computerized lighting and sound to add realism to the program. This makes for a fun and highly educational event.

The Fire Safety House Rooms

Fire Safety Topics - Part 1

The following are a few of the topics discussed during our Fire Safety House presentation at Safety City. Spending a little time going over these items prior to a trip to Safety City will allow the children to know the answers to questions we will ask and also helps to reinforce these safety messages. Reviewing this with the students strongly recommended.

Stop, Drop and Roll

When your clothes catch on fire, stop where you are, drop to the ground, cover your eyes with your hands, and roll over and over. Roll until the fire goes out.

Call 911

911 is the phone number to call for an emergency, but emergencies only. If you need the Fire Department, Police Department, or Ambulance, call 911 for help fast! Sometime people call 911 as a joke or prank. Those people that abuse 911 can receive a ticket, fine, or go to jail. When you call 911, stay on the phone until you are told to hang up. The dispatcher (or operator) will ask several questions such as Who you are, Where you are, and What the emergency is. Make sure you answer questions as accurate as possible.

Cooking Safety

Be very careful when cooking. Do not allow children or adults to run or play in the kitchen while cooking is going on. Turn the handles of pots or pans to the side to prevent tipping over. Always use potholders or oven mitts to move hot pans or skillets. Do not leave food cooking unattended. If you have to leave, turn everything off.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors save lives, but only if they work properly. Having a working smoke detector can increase your chance of surviving a house fire by more the 53%! There should be a detector in every bedroom and maybe in a hallway or living area depending on the size or layout of the home. If it is a battery-operated detector, then the battery should be changed every 6 months. We suggest doing this during daylight savings time change. "Change your Clocks. Change your Batteries!" Smoke detectors should also be tested once a month by pressing the test button.

Matches & Lighters

Matches and lighters are tools, not toys. Adults use them as a tool to start the BBQ grill, light a camp fire, light candles, etc. But they can be dangerous when used as a toy. Children should never play with matches or lighters. If you find them, go tell an adult about them. Do not touch them. Do not pick them up or take them to someone. The adult might throw them away, or if they are going to keep them, they should be stored on a high shelf or cabinet so children cannot reach them.

Fire Safety Topics - Part 2

Create a Home Escape Plan!

Exit Drill in the Home (E.D.I.T.H)

  1. Prepare a floor plan of your home showing at least two ways out of each room.
  2. Sleep with your bedroom door closed. It helps to hold back heat and smoke.
  3. Agree on a safe meeting place where family members are to gather for a head count.
  4. Make certain that no one goes back inside.

Practice — Practice — Practice — Practice — Practice — Practice

At Least 2 Ways Out

There should be at least 2 ways out of every room in a house. There may be 2 doors, or a door and a window. Windows can be used as a way out, but are not as good as doors. Try to escape by crawling low to the floor and feel the door with the back of the hand for heat. If it is hot, do not open the door. Find another way out. If it is not hot, open it carefully and then continue crawling out of the house.

Stay Low & Go!

Smoke rises. The best air to breathe in a fire or smoke situation is down low, about 2-16 inches from the floor. Do not stand up or do anything that will put you in the smoke. Smoke kills more people than flames do. In some cases it will take one breath of smoke to kill a person. Do not stand up until you get out of the house.

Meeting Place

Every home should have a "Safe Meeting Place". This can be a neighbor's house, a stop sign, a mailbox, or some other landmark, but have ONE place that everyone in the home meets in case of a fire. This helps families to stay together and know that everyone got out safely.

Get Out & Stay Out!

Once you get out of a house that is on fire, DO NOT go back in for ANY reason. Possessions, or material things can be replaced, people cannot. People that go back inside a house that is on fire almost never make it back out alive.

The Police Education Building

The Police Education Building was built through the effort of the Friends of Safety City and John Beall Builders. Many businesses and foundations contributed to make this dream come true. This facility offers a stadium style seating classroom, updated technology, restrooms, including handicap facilities, staff offices, and an area to eat lunch on cold winter days. This building also houses a 1953 Dodge Police Car donated to the Abilene Police Department by the Holder Family in memory of Officer Rodney Holder.

The Police Education Building Police Education Building Classrooms

Traffic Safety > Automobile Safety


  1. Students will be able to recite the proper use of traffic lanes and a continuous left turn lane.
  2. Students will be able to recite at least two reasons for using seatbelts.

Use of Seatbelts:
Save lives
Prevent injuries
Prevent movement during impact
Help little people grow up to be big people
Traffic Lanes:
Yellow striped lines - two way traffic
White striped lines - one way traffic
Outside lane - straight ahead or right turn
Inside lane - straight ahead only
Continuous left turn lane - left turn only
Right side of the roadway - explain to students that all traffic must use the lane(s) on the right side of the yellow line.

Traffic Safety > Bicycle Safety


  1. Students will be able to recite at least four basic bicycle-riding rules.
    1. Ride on the right side of the street
    2. Ride in single file
    3. Obey traffic lights and signs
    4. Walk across busy streets
  2. Students will be able to explain the importance of wearing bicycle helmets.
  3. Students will be able to demonstrate three hand signals.

Bicycle Safety Rules

  1. Always wear a HELMET.
  2. Always ride on the RIGHT side of the roadway. Always use the right lane. Never use the inside lane or the turn lane.
  3. When riding in groups, ride in SINGLE FILE.
  4. Vehicle laws also apply to bicycle riders. OBEY all traffic lights and signs.
  5. WALK bicycles across busy intersections. Children have better control of themselves and the bicycle when walking. Never cross diagonally across the middle of an intersection, go corner to corner.
  6. SIGNAL YOUR TURNS. Hand signals now in use involve:

  7. Left Turn: extending the left arm straight out from the body, parallel to the ground.
    Right Turn: extending the right arm straight out from the body, parallel to the ground. This differs from the old right turn signal in which the left arm was extended straight out from the body, parallel to the ground with arm bent at the elbows and forearm extended upwards. New law states that you can give hand signals either way for right turn.
    Stop/Slow Signal: extend the left arm straight out from the body, parallel to the ground with arm bent down at the elbow (forearm extends downwards).
  8. Look in all directions before crossing the street. Shoulder Check.
  9. Never take passengers.
  10. As much as possible avoid busy streets.
  11. Keep your bike in good condition.

Hand Signals:

Bicycle Hand Signals

Bicycle Safety

Traffic Safety > Bus Safety

  1. Students will be able to recite numerous rules for riding the bus safely.
  2. Students will know what to do in case of an emergency while riding.

Smart Bus Riders:
Stand at least six feet away from the curb
Make sure the bus comes to a complete stop before you try to get on or off the bus
Use the handrail
Leave the first two seats behind the driver vacant (empty)
If anything rolls under or in front of the bus - get permission from the driver before you go after it!
Cross the street at least ten feet in front of the bus, only when the lights are flashing!
Wait until the bus driver signals you across the street, before crossing - then do a shoulder-check just to be sure it is safe.

Good Behavior:
Walk - don't run
Line up in single file to get on and off the bus
Listen to the teacher and bus driver
Sit down immediately and stay in your seat
Talk quietly (the driver needs to listen for sirens, etc.)
Save snacks/drinks for later
Never open, throw or stick anything out of the windows
Keep your arms, legs, and belongings out of the aisle
Report any damage to the teacher or driver when exiting the bus
In An Emergency:
Stay Calm
Stay in your seat
Stop talking
Follow the bus driver or teacher's instructions
Know where the emergency doors and windows are located
If you have to exit the bus follow the rules below:
Do not crowd the aisle - go in single file
Keep moving toward the exits - do not push
Wrap loose clothing around you so you will not get caught on door hinges or other parts of the bus
Leave belongings behind
Get away from the exit quickly

Traffic Safety > Pedestrian Safety


  1. Students will be able to properly do a "shoulder check"
  2. Know where to cross the street
  3. Proper use of sidewalks/lack of sidewalk
  4. A pedestrian is a person who is walking

Shoulder Check: Look in all directions. They should be looking for any hazards such as cross traffic and turning traffic. Stop before crossing the street if you need to. Listen for approaching hazards such as engine sounds, skidding tires, etc. before crossing the street. Walk (don't run) straight across the street.

Use the Crosswalk: The crosswalk is the safest place to cross. If there is no crosswalk, cross at the corner. Never take a shortcut across the street.

By law, pedestrians have the right of way while they are in the crosswalk, but that is no guarantee that cars will stop. Extreme care should always be used when crossing the street.

Always use the sidewalk: Sidewalks are for people. You may walk in either direction. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left, facing traffic.

Traffic lights are for people too:

 Red Light : Must stop before entering the intersection and remain stopped until a green light is shown, and it is safe to proceed.

 Yellow Light : Warns the driver/pedestrian the light is about to change to red. STOP if not already in the intersection.

 Green Light : The driver/pedestrian may proceed when it is safe to do so. (Emphasize to the students to look in all directions before entering the intersection.)

Walk: Wait for the walk sign before crossing. Stop, look and listen and go if it is safe. If it changes while you are crossing, continue walking.

Don't Walk: NEVER cross when the don't walk is lit.

Keep thinking about where you are and what you are doing! Always remember that walking in the street or near a street can be very dangerous. People in cars don't always look for kids, so you have to be very careful when you are walking.

Pedestrian Safety

Traffic Safety > Traffic Signs and Lights


  1. Students will be able to list the three colors and associated meaning of a traffic light
  2. Students will recognize and be able to properly obey:
    1. Stop Sign
    2. Yield Sign
    3. One Way Sign
    4. Railroad Crossing
    5. Traffic Lights
  3. Students will be familiar with traffic signs that apply to bike drivers and pedestrians.

Traffic Light:

 Red Light : Must stop before entering the intersection and remain stopped until a green light is shown, and it is safe to proceed.

 Yellow Light : Warns the driver/pedestrian the light is about to change to red. STOP if not already in the intersection.

 Green Light : The driver/pedestrian may proceed when it is safe to do so. (Emphasize to the students to look in all directions before entering the intersection.)

Traffic Signs:

Stop Sign: Stop. Look in all directions. When it is safe, you can go.

Yield Sign: Let the traffic on the other road go first.

One Way: Traffic is allowed to go only in the direction of the arrow.

Railroad Crossing (Lighted): Must stop when lights are flashing and bell is sounding. May not cross until lights and bell stop. NEVER try to go around the lowered barrier arm. Stop, Look, Listen and Live.

Railroad Crossing (Without Lights): Stop, Look, Listen and Live. NEVER try to beat a train.

Advance Warning Railroad Sign: Slow down. Look to see if a train is coming, if so, stop!

Traffic Safety > Other Traffic Signs

Other Traffic Signs Students Should Be Familiar With:

Pedestrian Crossing

School Zone


Construction Zone

Do Not Enter

No Bikes Allowed Slow down. Look to see if a train is coming, if so, stop!

Traffic Safety > Safety City Route Signs

Safety City Route Signs:

Car Route: Students should follow these signs when driving a car. The signs are blue in color with a white arrow attached to an orange traffic cone.

Bike Route: Students should follow these signs when driving bicycles at Safety City. The are green in color with a white arrow.

Pedestrian Route: Students should follow these arrows when walking the pedestrian route. Red arrows painted on the ground/sidewalk.