Children playing with fire causes hundreds of deaths and injuries each year. Preschoolers and kindergartners are most likely to start these fires, typically by playing with matches and lighters, and are most likely to die in them.
Facts & figures
- In 2006, children playing with fire started an estimated 14,500 structure fires that were reported to U.S. fire departments, causing an estimated 130 civilian deaths, 810 civilian injuries and $328 million in direct property damage.
- Nearly two-thirds (63%) of all fatal victims of fires by playing are children 5 years old and younger.
- Nearly two out of every three child-playing fires — and four out of five associated deaths and injuries — involve matches or lighters.
- The items ignited by home fire-play are principally mattresses, bedding or clothing.