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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.

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