According to FEMA, nationwide, more than half of all intentionally set fires are started by youths under the age of 18. Each year in this country fires set by children and adolescents are responsible for hundreds of fire deaths, thousands of painful burn injuries, and hundreds of millions of dollars in property loss according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Young children are also the victims in these fires. Fires set by children are common and a problem affecting many
families. While curiosity about fire is natural, firesetting is dangerous and deadly. It is not safe to think that youth firesetting is only a phase.
What Families Can Do To Prevent Fires
If your child is displaying firesetting behavior, you and your family are at a higher risk for suffering the consequences of fire. Remember, you are not the only parent ever to face this problem and NoFIRES can help.
- Supervision by adults decrease the opportunity to set fires.
- Teach children of all ages that fires, even small ones, can spread quickly.
- Teach young children that fire is a tool, not a toy, and only used by adults.
- Keep matches and lighters out of sight and out of reach.
- Always use fire with care and set a good example by using matches, lighters, and candles carefully.
- Teach children to show you when they find matches and lighters.
- Regularly inspect your home for fire hazards.
- Install and maintain working smoke alarms throughout your home.
- Plan and practice home fire escape drills that include two ways out from every room.