Between 2007 and 2011, an average of 49,300 fires involving people playing with fire were reported to U.S. municipal fire departments per year, according to NFPA’s latest “Playing with Fire” report. Most of these fires were started by children, and caused annual averages of 80 civilian deaths, 860 civilian injuries, and $235 million in property damage.
What is striking for those of us in the wildfire safety industry, and according to the report, is, of the total number of these fires, 11 percent began outside and in places like tunnels, bridges, vacant lots, etc., and were started by older children and teenagers. It’s important to consider that most wildland fires begin from lightning strikes or human error. With hotter temperatures predicted this year, along with increased dried vegetation and high winds, wildfires can ignite at anytime, anywhere.
Keep yourself, your family and your community safer from wildfire this season. Read the full report and find fact sheets and safety tips on NFPA’s website. There are many great resources you can use to help start discussions with your children about the importance of fire safety.
Additional information about how families can work together to reduce their wildfire risk can be found on the Firewise website. Find interactive modules, games and quizzes everyone can participate in.