Child fire prevention

By Monica Castro
KAKE – April 24, 2015


The Wichita Fire Department says last year they recorded 30 fires were started by juveniles. This year there have only been 8, however, those have resulted in $50,000-$60,000 in losses.

“Unfortunately it is something that happens quite often sometimes it’s a big loss and other times huge tragedies occur,” said Capt. Stu Bevis, Wichita Fire Department.

The fire department recommends parents treat matches and lighters like weapons. “Lock them up. That’s the bottom line. If they are not physically on their person lock them up,” said Capt. Bevis.

WFD says parents should be concerned if a child with fire and exhibits these kinds of behaviors:
-Has started more than one fire.
-Doesn’t understand fire’s destructiveness
-Shows interest in playing with matches and lighters.

“We are talking about kids under the age of 8. Hopefully they are getting the decision making process. The state of Kansas looks at the age of accountability being age 10, meaning they know right from wrong.

They mention that children start fires for a number of reasons like:
curiosity, experimenting, anger or peer pressure.

If you have concerns for your child you are asked to call the Sedgwick County Fire Prevention Division with any questions or to refer a child to the program, Y-Fire. The goal of the Y-FIRE Academy is to educate youth and parents about the dangers and consequences of fire setting.

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