Children And Fire
Every year, hundreds of children throughout the world die in home fires started by children who were using or playing with matches or lighters.
Many of the children were merely being curious about fire. Some set fires deliberately as an act of vandalism.
Children have a normal and healthy fascination with fire. If your children express curiosity about fire, or if you find they have been playing with matches or lighters, you are best to respond calmly.
You can explain firmly to your child that matches and lighters are tools for adults to use carefully. Find safe ways to let your child participate in your careful use of fire. Let them blow out candles, for example, or ut charcoal in the barbecue before you light it. As children grow more mature, they can learn how to use matches and lighters safely, but only undr adult supervision.
Keep Matches And Lighters Away From Children
Children as young as two years old have been reported to have started fires with matches and lighters. If there are children in your house, treat matches and lighters as you would treat a dangerous weapon. Store them up high, out of children’s reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.
Teach young children that if they see matches or lighters they should not touch them, but to tell a grown-up about them and where they are. School age children, on the other hand, should be taught to bring matches or lighters to an adult so the hazard can be removed from younger children.
Don’t Leave Children Unattended
Unsupervised children can sometimes get their hands on matches and lighters that are well hidden. They may go “looking for them” or they may know where you hide them.
If You Smoke
Each year, careless smokers start many house fires. Those fires have caused death and cost millions of dollars in property damage.
Check for hidden embers, cigarettes can smolder under the cushions of a chair or sofa for several hours. That’s long enough for the whole family to be asleep before the fire starts. Before leaving a room where people have been smoking, check in and around furniture for hot embers, ashes, butts or matches.
Use ashtrays to reduce the risk of cigarettes starting a fire. Have plenty of large, deep ashtrays on hand and empty them often. Fill them with water before dumping cigarette butts into wastebaskets. A lit cigarette left in an ashtray is a fire hazard.
As it burns down,it can easily roll out of the ashtray and cause a fire. Never smoke
in bed or when you are drowsy.
Fires started by matches and lighters claim many lives each year. Most of those deaths could be prevented by a few simple precautions:
- Store matches and lighters out of children’s reach
- Teach children that matches and lighters are tools for adults, not toys
If you suspect your child is setting fires, get help immediately by contacting the Zion Fire / Rescue Department.
If you smoke, use great caution and check for smoldering cigarettes or embers before leaving a room.