SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Child Fire Play Incidents on the Rise


October 22, 2010

Anchorage, Alaska - Several recent fire incidents caused by child fire play have Alaska fire and law enforcement officials concerned. Alaska State Fire Marshal David Tyler reminds Alaskans that one of the leading causes for child fire fatalities is child fire play. Tyler adds "the Hooper Bay fire in 2006 was one of the most costly fires in the State of Alaska and it was caused by children playing with fire".

Curiosity is usually the reason for child fire play, but in some cases there are far more troubling issues going on in a child's life that cause this behavior. There are Juvenile Firesetter Intervention programs in Alaska that can curb this behavior before a devastating fire takes place or another life is lost. The key issue for the success of these programs is early intervention. In many cases child fire play can be stopped by fire safety education instead of putting children through the judicial system. It is important for Alaskans to report incidents of child fire play to local authorities no matter how large or small they may be. If incidents are happening at school it is critical that school officials are notifying local authorities of these incidents.

Some tips on preventing child fire play are:

  • Keep matches and lighters out of children's reach, preferably locked up.
  • Teach children that matches and lighters are tools, not toys.
  • Teach children about fire prevention and safety.
  • Do not leave young children unattended for long periods of time.
  • Report any child fire play to your local fire department as soon as possible.

Alaskans can help local authorities keep their communities safe by being aware and reporting any child fire play they see in their community. It is important to remember that early intervention is critical to successfully stopping this devastating behavior.

Following these fire safety messages can prevent a fire from starting. Having working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms is important in case a fire does happen. Install, test and maintain your alarms to alert you in case of a fire. Remember that a home fire suppression sprinkler system in conjunction with working smoke alarms gives you the best chance to survive a fire in your home.


Source of News:

Alaska Department of Public Safety

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Ketchikan, Alaska