The Las Cruces Fire Department wants you to prevent youth firesetting by following basic rules of thumb and teaching children the dangers of fire.
May 6-12 is Arson Awareness Week and the Las Cruces Fire Department wants to focus the public’s attention on preventing youth firesetting, the focus of this year’s message from the U.S. Fire Administration.
National statistics show that 56,300 fires were started by playing children between 2005 and 2009. Investigations have revealed that children playing with lighters were responsible for half of those fires. Child-started fires accounted for 110 deaths, 880 injuries and approximately $286 million in property damage during the five-year span.
The Las Cruces Fire Department suggests the following tips:
- Set a good example for children. Use matches, lighters and fire carefully as children will imitate positive behavior.
- Teach children the dangers of fire.
- Praise your child for practicing responsible behavior and showing respect for fire.
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
- Do not allow young children to play with matches, lighters, fireworks or combustibles.
- Teach children how to properly use a fire extinguisher and make sure one is available in your home.
- Ensure that your home has properly-working smoke detectors in every room.
- Teach children what to do in the event of a fire (alert others of the fire, immediately go to a safe location, call 911).
- Have an emergency plan in place and make sure children know where to go in the event of a fire.
More information on fire prevention is available on the Las Cruces Fire Department’s website at www.CLCFD.com.