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February 16, 2011

02/17/11 In cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Kids Fire Safety Rollout, the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office is encouraging Hoosier parents to spend a few moments with their children to stress the importance of fire safety.

“Children are often very curious of the world around them, and may experiment with fire without understanding the consequences of these actions,” said Indiana State Fire Marshall Jim Greeson. “It’s extremely important to talk to your child and educate them on the dangers of playing with fire. Taking a few minutes to speak with your child about fire safety can help keep them safe and avoid an accidental disaster.” The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office is a division of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS).

The National Fire Protection Association reported more than 50,000 fires in 2008 resulting from children playing with fire. The fires caused more than $279 million in property damage. Most of these fires begin with children playing with lighters or matches. The Indiana State Fire Marshal is reminding all Hoosiers of the importance of proper child fire safety education.

Here are a few tips to keep children safe from fire accidents:

  • Keep all matches and lighters out of the hands of children. Consider buying only “child-proof” lighters and keep them in locked drawers. Children as young as two years old can strike matches and start a fire.
  • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles.
  • Teach children not to pick up matches or lighters they may find. Instead, they should tell and adult immediately.

For information about fire safety for kids, visit the IDHS Preparedness page at