Social validation and training of emergency fire safety skills for potential injury prevention and life saving

J Appl Behav Anal. Fall 1981;14(3):249-60. doi: 10.1901/jaba.1981.14-249.


A multifaceted behavioral program designed to teach emergency fire escape procedures to children was evaluated in a multiple-baseline design. Five children were trained to respond correctly to nine home emergency fire situations under simulated conditions. The situations and responses focused upon in training were identified by a social validation procedure involving consultation with several safety agencies, including the direct input of firefighters. Training, carried out in simulated bedrooms at school, resulted in significant improvements in both overt behavior and self-report of fire safety skills. The gains were maintained at a post-check assessment 2 weeks after training had been terminated. The results are discussed in relation both to the importance of social validation of targets and outcomes and the implications for further research in assessing and developing emergency response skills.

MeSH terms

  • Accident Prevention*
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Burns / prevention & control*
  • Child
  • Cues
  • Female
  • Fires*
  • First Aid*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Safety*
  • Social Responsibility*