Teaching Children Fire Safety
The Clearwater Fire Department encourages parents to teach children at an early age about the dangers of fire-play in an effort to prevent injuries, fire and fire-setting behavior in the future. Below are some helpful facts about children and fire safety.
Curious Kids Set Fires
Children under five are curious about fire from what begins as a natural exploration of the unknown. Children of all ages set fires.
- Children make up a significant number of fire-related injuries.
- Many fires that harm children are set by children playing with fire.
- At home, children usually play with fire in bedrooms, in closets and under beds. These are "secret" places where there are a lot of things that catch fire easily.
- Too often, child fire-setters are not given proper guidance and supervision by parents and teachers. Consequently, they repeat their fire-setting behavior.
Practice Fire Safety in Your Home
- Supervise young children closely. Do not leave them alone even for short periods of time.
- Keep matches and lighters in a secured drawer or cabinet.
- Have your children tell you when they find matches and lighters.
- Check under beds and in closets for burned matches, evidence your child may be playing with fire.
- Develop a home fire escape plan, practice it with your children and designate a meeting place outside.
- Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
- Teach children the nature of fire. It is FAST, HOT, DARK and DEADLY!
- Teach children not to hide from firefighters, but to get out quickly and call for help from another location.
- Show children how to crawl low on the floor, below the smoke, to get out of the house and stay out in the case of fire.
- Demonstrate how to stop, drop to the ground and roll if their clothes catch fire.
- Install smoke alarms on every level in your home.
- Familiarize children with the sound of your smoke alarm.
- Test the smoke alarm each month and replace the battery at least once a year.
- Replace the smoke alarm every ten years, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
Should you know of a child who you believe is at risk for fire-play or fire-setting, contact our department immediately. We can put the child’s parents or guardians in touch with a juvenile fire-setting program. All information remains confidential. Our goal is to prevent not to punish.
For more information contact the Clearwater Fire Department.