Preventing children from setting fires
Teach children the following points so they realize that fire is a tool, not a toy. Praise them when they follow through on any of these points:
- Keep matches and lighters out of a child's sight and reach. Even toddlers have been able to start a fire using matches or a lighter
- Teach preschool children to tell an adult if they find matches or lighters
- Teach school-age children to give matches and lighters to an adult
- Teach your child to say "No" when friends suggest playing with fire
- Explain how adults use matches to light candles, start a campfire or light a barbecue
- Teach school age children how to use fire safely. Provide opportunities for children to light matches under adult supervision, such as lighting the candles on a birthday cake
Fire setting is serious
Take any fire related activity seriously.
- Immediately report all fires to the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services by calling 9-1-1
- If your child sets a fire, use an immediate consequence, such as taking away a privilege or using time-outs
- Contact Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service regarding the junior fire setting program
Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service members have been specially trained to evaluate children to determine the most effective ways to curb dangerous behaviour. Some cases warrant fire safety education. Other cases require professional counseling.
Contact the Public Relations and Education department contact listed at right.
Fire safety educational resources
Teachers may be interested in our resources for teaching fire safety to children. Parents and community leaders may schedule a fire hall tour as an educational activity. Details for these activities are on the following pages.