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A parent, a guardian, an adult, Aunts and Uncles, big brothers and sisters. We are all responsible for the safety of children in our care, or who may be affected by what we do or fail to do.

Each year children are injured and some may even die because they play with matches or lighters. It is also likely that some of these children will have gained access to matches or such like because someone else was negligent.

A child playing with matches

Follow these common sense guidance to improve your childrens fire safety with matches and lighters


  • Children are fascinated with flame and fire in general. It is often this natural curiosity that leads to tragedy. Never use a flame from matches, lighters or candles to pacify a child, or attract a child’s attention. It may soothe a crying baby, but you are likely to be creating a problem for the future.
  • Never use a candle as a nightlight for a baby or a small child. A small battery operated or plug-in, low output lamp is more soothing and more practical.


  • Teach your children from an early age that matches and lighters are not toys.
  • Make them aware of what to do if they discover any matches, lighters either in the home ore outside. - Do not touch,Tell an adult about them, Ask the adult to put them away somewhere safe.

What you can do:

  • Keep matches and lighters well above the level of reach of any small child. A curious child may well climb on a chair, remember this when finding a safe place.
  • Smokers should not leave their smoking materials in full view. Children will pursue their curiosity and attempt to ‘steal’ matches and lighters.
  • Select a secure place well out of the reach of children for keeping matches and lighters. Pre-school children can reach drawer height. Others will climb onto furniture and fixtures to reach cupboards.
  • Avoid kitchen appliances that require naked flames to operate. Gas cookers should be lit with igniters.
  • If you have matches or lighters in your home make regular checks of your children’s bedrooms and play areas. These are likely places that children experiment with fire.

Further guidance:

If you require further information, or have another Community Safety enquiry please Contact us.

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