SEATTLE, Wash. -- National Arson Awareness Week is being observed May 6-12. This year's theme is Prevent Youth Firesetting. According to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, we all need to join in a collaborative effort with fire and emergency service departmentsto zero in on the importance of helping reduce the occurrence of fires caused by children playing with fire.
?It's important to set a good example for our children," said Murphy. ?Use matches, lighters, and fire carefully, as children will imitate adult behavior."
According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), fires started by children playing accounted for an average of 56,300 fires per year between 2005 and 2009, with associated annual losses of 110 deaths, 880 injuries and $286 million in direct property damage.
To help prevent children in your household from setting fires, never leave matches or lighters within their reach. Keep matches and lighters in high, locked cabinets. In addition, praise your child for practicing responsible behavior and showing respect for fire.
For more information on Arson Awareness Week and youth firesetter prevention, visit the USFA website at www.usfa.fema.gov/aaw/.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.