Fireman Sam

Common Sense Media says

Charming Welsh show teaches preschoolers safety.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Sam shows how to stay calm in a crisis. He also relies on his team to help him solve problems.

Violence & scariness

Some of the fires and other crises that Sam faces may frighten the youngest viewers, but everyone is always safe in the end.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

Welsh accents and expressions.

Consumerism

Tie-in products are inevitable.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this appealing series teaches fire safety to preschoolers. Sam is a colorful Welsh firefighter who's also a responsive member of his community and a loving uncle to his niece and nephew. Young viewers will be delighted by the stop-motion animation (which creates soft visuals), the colorful backdrops of the charming Welsh village, and the funny dialogue. Storylines focus on situations that require the firefighters' help, such as someone's pet dog getting stuck in a fence or a child accidentally knocking over a lit jack-o'-lantern and starting a fire. Sensitive viewers may need a parent nearby to help them understand that all of the characters are safe in the end.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Created by two UK firefighters, FIREMAN SAM has been helping kids learn about fire safety since first airing on the BBC in the mid 1980s. Brave to the core -- as well as the hero next door (as described in the opening song, that is) -- Fireman Sam (voiced by John Sparkes) is just the person to help out in a crisis. Calm and cool when the pressure's on, Sam is tender-hearted around the children who look up to him, and a bit of an eccentric thanks to the oddball inventions he creates on the side. Each episode includes two stories featuring characters from the picturesque town of Pontypandy (the name is a hybrid of two real South Wales place names -- Pontypridd and Tonypandy). Viewers will meet Elvis Cridlington, another colorful firefighter; Penny Morris, a female firefighter and mechanic; Dilys Price, the gossipy town grocer; Norman Price, the resident mischievous kid; Sarah and James, Sam's twin niece and nephew; and Bella Lasagne, the town café owner.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The distinctly Welsh characters, community, accents, and expressions may pose some minor comprehension problems for kids on this side of the pond, but overall it's good exposure to another part of the world. And when it comes down to it, the show's main premise is easy to ascertain, even for a 3-year old. With its fun cast of friends and engaging adventures, the show may remind parents of Bob the Builder -- albeit with a Welsh accent and a focus on fire safety instead of construction.

Fireman Sam's storylines are simple, but they do involve crises, some of which may frighten the youngest viewers if characters' safety is threatened. But never fear -- everyone always winds up safe in the end thanks to the gallant efforts of Fireman Sam.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about specific fire safety rules: the danger of playing with matches, why you shouldn't reach for hot objects in the kitchen, staying safe around fireplaces and camp fires, and so on. This discussion can branch out, too, covering everything from water safety to learning how to dial 911. Parents can also talk about the safety mistakes made by the children in the show and what their own kids should do if they see the same things happening in real life. The series' charming Welsh community, accents, and expressions may also prompt discussion about other countries and parts of the world.

TV details

Cast:John Alderton, John Sparkes, Sarah Hadland
Network:Sprout
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Friendship, Great boy role models
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD

This review of Fireman Sam was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 2 and 3 year old Written byMother22 June 5, 2010
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

My children's favorite!

My kids love Fireman Sam & play the characters for hours, zooming around saving each other. One character (Norman Price) is constantly making bad choices & is disrespectful to his Mother, so we talk about that.
What other families should know
Educational value
Parent of a 2 year old Written bysnack January 18, 2009
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Teaches kids to respect fire and be careful!

I disagree with another reviewer about this being inappropriate for a two year old. Each story is about the dangers of fire and the importance of being careful in many situations. Nowhere did I find an episode where the characters didn't learn a lesson, or that was presented in a manner that encouraged kids to seek out fire, rather than respect it's power. All the episodes deal with safety and I know my child knows more about firemen and safety now because of it.
Parent of a 3 year old Written byjellybean728 December 12, 2008
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Not for 3 year olds

This show is probably one of the worst cartoons that I have ever seen. Why on earth would you let a 3 year old watch a show where another child is constantly starting fires and or trouble. It's obvious that Norman does not learn his lesson since he does something bad in every episode. When I was 3 I'm quite sure I did not know this much about fires. Yes a fireman (a real person) came to our school to show us what to do in the event of a fire but never have a child in a cartoon starting them. This is probably worse then Max & Ruby on Nickoldeon that I no longer allow my son to watch. Children at age 3 should be learning their ABC's not how to start fires.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Common Sense Kids Action