Greater Manchester FRS have helped officially unveil the latest safety message from  firefighter turned author Dave Fanning whose Phil the Fire Engine books have been turned into a mural at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

Fanning, a former station commander from Toxteth in Liverpool, created the character of Phil the Fire Engine in a bid to help educate children about the dangers of fires and how they start.

His series of children's books have proved particularly popular with staff at Manchester Children's Hospital's Burns Unit where the team use the books to support burn prevention messages as an integral part of the school reintegration programme.

Now amural of Phil the Fire Engine has now been fitted in the hospital's A&E department depicting which reads 'Phil says don't play with matches and fire', something Community Safety Advisor Lewis Jeffrey believes will help spread the fire prevention mention.

"I am sure that these very useful resources will not only provide young children with an excellent read but also prove to be a vital learning resource' for many children coming through our service and through the hospital's Burns Unit too," he said.

Having had firsthand experience of attending a fire where an 18-month-old child died as a result of blaze accidently started by her older brother, Fanning was keen to educate children about the dangers of matches, hoax calls and starting fires and took this programme across schools in Merseyside.

It was this programme which first inspired Phil the Fire Engine and Fanning said: "I started writing the books after seeing firsthand through my year's in the service, just how important it is for children to be aware of fire safety messages, but it's great that they are now being used to help youngsters who have been injured in fires too.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to see Phil the Fire Engine's message about fire safety getting out there, and getting so much positive feedback from the hospitals, fire services and schools that are using them. It's my goal to see them made available to as many children as possible."

You can order all of the Phil the Fire Engine books and teaching resources at:

Posted 01/05/2012 by