Years ago, the US government realised that blowing up mannequins was the most effective way to demonstrate the importance of fireworks safety. The city of Poznań, Poland, has taken a similar approach when it comes to teaching kids about fire safety, but using an incredibly detailed miniature doll house that can simulate a blazing inferno.
Developed by the city’s fire department alongside a local software company, the 1:12-scale house has three floors packed with countless fire hazards, including cigarettes left smouldering on beds, over-loaded power outlets, and a distracted dad in the kitchen preparing dinner. At the push of a button on a connected tablet app, any of these scenarios can ignite and turn deadly, turning Barbie’s dream house into Barbie’s death trap.
If I had seen this demonstration when I was a kid, I probably wouldn’t have gone anywhere near a cake or candle the next time my birthday rolled around.