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Children & Fire

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High Risk Population: Kids

Because children make up between 20% - 25% of all fire deaths, parents should teach their children at an early age about the dangers of fire in an effort to prevent firesetting behavior and the injuries and deaths that may result. Below are some fire safety guidelines for parents:

  • Supervise young children closely. Do not leave them alone even for short periods of time.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high (above adult shoulder height), out of children's reach, and preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Teach children to tell a grown-up if they find matches or lighters around the house.
  • 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!
  • Show children how to crawl low on the floor, below the smoke, to get out of the house and stay out in case of fire.
  • Teach children not to hide from firefighters, but to get out quickly and call for help from another location.
  • Teach children not to go back into the home for their pet(s) or favorite toys or possessions. Explain that firefighters will do this upon their arrival.
  • Demonstrate how to STOP, DROP to the ground, and ROLL if their clothes are on fire.

If you observe your child playing with matches or lighters, please call the Inspectional Services Division at 847-734-8020 and ask for assistance from one of our Juvenile Firesetter Counselors.