3. Children Must Be Taught to Respect Fire Danger and Practice Fire Safety Behaviors

Key Messages

  • Children have a natural curiosity about fire and the ability to strike matches or start a lighter.
  • In 2006, there were approximately 8,500 residential fires caused by children playing with fire.
    • Matches, lighters and other heat sources are the leading causes of fire-related deaths for children under age five.
    • Sixty-three percent of those who die in fires started by children are children age five and under.
  • Parents and teachers should practice and teach fire-safe behaviors to children and educate them about the dangers of fire, matches and other ignition sources.
    • A variety of interactive Internet sites designed specifically for children can be used to help reinforce these messages.
    • A variety of education programs, lesson plans and printable resources on fire and burn safety for elementary and preschool teachers are available on the Internet.
  • Juvenile fire-setting intervention programs assist children who set fires and their families to prevent children from engaging in this destructive behavior.




Parents and Caregivers