Fire safety warning for parents with young children

The service has responded to two fires caused my lighters and matches so far this month.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is urging parents to keep matches and lighters out the reach of young children to help keep them safe from fire.

Firefighters in Littlehampton and Bognor Regis have attended two fires caused by matches and lighters in the hands of young people so far this month.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue’s Head of Prevention, Nicki Peddle, said: “It’s understandable for children to be curious about fire, so it’s vital that as parents and carers we can spot fire risks in our home and take action to reduce them, this will keep our families and homes safe from harm.

“The sole purpose of matches and lighters is to start fires, and when started, they can burn rapidly and become out of control. In the wrong hands, these items can be extremely dangerous and therefore must be kept locked away and stored out of reach of children.

“We also have an online home fire safety check tool available which will assist you in looking at the fire risks in your home, and will give advice on how to reduce them.”

Matches and lighters fire safety tips:

Never allow a child or young person to play with lighters or matches
Keep all matches and lighters out of reach in a high cabinet, preferably a locked one
Teach young children to tell a grown-up when they see matches or lighters
Encourage children to tell an adult if someone suggests that they should play with matches or lighters
If you have concerns about a young person’s behaviour and believe they could be at risk of deliberately starting a fire, you can contact our FireWise team on 0330 2222 515 or email