Fire safety tips for children
Children playing with fire causes hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries each year. Preschoolers are most likely to start these fires, typically by playing with matches and lighters.
Facts and figures (taken from the National Fire Protection Agency; U.S. statistics)
- most of the people killed in child-playing fires are under 5 and such fires are the leading cause of fire deaths among preschoolers
- roughly two out of every three child-playing fires - and three out of four associated deaths and injuries - involve matches or lighters
- children also start fires by playing with candles, fireworks, stoves and cigarettes
- just over half of child-playing fires in the home start in a bedroom
Fire prevention tips
- store matches and lighters out of childrens' reach and sight, up high, preferably in a locked cabinet
- never use lighters or matches as a source of amusement for children; they may imitate you
- if your child expresses curiosity about fire or has been playing with fire, calmly but firmly explain that matches and lighters are tools for adults only
- use only lighters designed with child-resistant features. Remember child-resistant does not mean child-proof.
- teach young children to tell an adult if they see matches or lighters, and teach school-age children to bring any matches or lighters to an adult.
- if you suspect your child is intentionally setting fires or unduly fascinated with fire, get help. Your local fire department, school or community counselling agency can put you in touch with trained experts.