39% of home fires casued by children occur during playtime when the children are unsupervised by a parent. Most often, the fires will start in a child’s bedroom. Whether by accident or on purpose, younger children are more likely to set fires in homes, while teenagers are more likely to set fires outside. History identifies males between 10-17 as the lead initiators of those fires. Caused from experimenting with flames or by accident, fires can quickly spread out of control in as little as 3 minutes. No child or adult would be able to control the flames without possible injury from burns or choking from smoke.
- 83% of home structure fires and 93% of outside or unclassified fires were set by boys
- Lighters were the heat source in just over half (52%) of fires in homes during play time
Fires started by children average $235 million in direct property damage per year in addition to the related injuries and deaths caused from the fire. With proper education and parental guidance, children can learn the dangers and consequences of starting a fire.
Simple solutions: 1. Talk with your kids about the dangers and costly consequences of fire 2. Store lighters and open flames out of reach from young children 3. For teens, set boundaries involving “no flames” without adult supervision. 4. Keep a fire extinguisher in an unrestricted location, accessible by everyone in the household.
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