What was this scary fire safety film?
February 1, 2010 6:18 AM   Subscribe

Trying to find the name of a fire safety film that scared the crap out of me in the 70s.

When I was about 13, around 1977, they put us in the school auditorium and showed us a fire safety filmed that haunted me for years.

Here's the setup: there's a family of 4, Mom, Dad, and two redhaired kids, one boy and one girl. You spend the first part of the movie following them through the nice summer day: the dad goes and sits in an office, the mom cleans things and maybe goes shopping, and the kids walk over to some pond and go fishing. The narrator remarks on what a lovely day it's been.

Then, after dinner, the dad is sitting on the couch smoking and drops some ash behind the couch. Then in the middle of the night the couch catches on fire, and then the house, and everyone dies. The son dies because he's sleeping in the top bunk and smoke inhalation gets him without him waking up. The daughter wakes up, but tries to leave by the bedroom door instead of the window and the smoke gets her. The mom dies because she tries to get the kids instead of leaving the house. I forget how the dad dies.

Pretty horrible, huh? Was anyone else deeply scarred by this thing? I have googled around for old fire safety films but nothing seems to match. I don't think it looked particularly dated when I saw it, but it could have been filmed in the 60s and I probably wouldn't have noticed in '77. It was definitely in color.
posted by JanetLand to Education (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Hmm. I can't help you with the title but I, too, was scarred by some fire safety film. I wonder if this was the same one. The detail that stands out to me was a voiceover with the narrator saying slowly and steadily, "The door... the door... the door" as somebody sank slowly to the ground to die of smoke inhalation. Does that ring a bell?
posted by artemisia at 6:25 AM on February 1, 2010


I always recommend Kindertrauma for questions like these.

I don't remember that specific one, but I was terrorized by 70s safety films. Brutal, bloody, scarring. They just don't make 'em like that anymore.
posted by JoanArkham at 6:54 AM on February 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm somewhat younger than you but had a similar experience to a fire safety film in the early 80s.
posted by dfriedman at 8:07 AM on February 1, 2010


I'm somewhat older than you but had a similar experience to a fire safety film in the late 60s.
posted by sageleaf at 9:59 AM on February 1, 2010


Here is short compilation of gruesome British equivalents from the same era - starting with one on fire safety. . Sleep well JanetLand!
posted by rongorongo at 10:00 AM on February 1, 2010


I was actually trying to find the specific film that I saw, not just hear stories or see examples of other films.
posted by JanetLand at 10:26 AM on February 1, 2010


We're about the same age but I don't remember the film. Then again, we had a couple of teachers who were brothers and survived (albeit with disfigurements) an elementary school fire that occurred some thirty years prior. It seems they always did the fire safety briefings in person with a lot more impact than some film could have possibly had.
posted by Doohickie at 10:27 AM on February 1, 2010


Kindertrauma did the trick. Excellent.
posted by JanetLand at 6:05 PM on February 17, 2010


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