The No. 1 cause of residential fires in the United States is children playing with fire. Kids want to know how fire looks and how it burns. They also may try to imitate adults by lighting candles, cigarettes and fireplaces.
What can you do to help?
- Set a good example. Make fire safety a family matter. Practice fire and burn prevention in your home.
- Supervise your child. Almost all fires start when children are unsupervised.
- Store matches and lighters in a locked cabinet away from curious fingers.
- Purchase only child-resistant lighters. Even a two year old can work a cigarette lighter.
- Test smoke alarms monthly. Replace batteries once a year or as soon as the alarm "chirps." Make sure everyone in the home can hear and recognize the sound of your smoke alarms.
- Develop and practice a home fire escape plan. Make sure everyone understands the plan and that all escape routes are clear and all doors and windows can be easily opened. Practice the plan at least twice a year, making sure everyone is involved. Remember to get out first and then call for help. Never go back inside until the fire department gives the OK.