08 October 2010

Northamptonshire County Council’s fire and rescue service is visiting the county’s schools this week to talk to pupils about the dangers of playing with matches and lighters.

The service’s Community Safety Officers will be giving fire safety talks to year 2 pupils across Northamptonshire, highlighting the risks and the consequences as part of the ‘Matches and Lighters: Tools not Toys’ campaign.

National Schools’ Fire Safety Week is a joint collaboration between the Fire Fighters Charity and the Communities and Local Government ‘Fire Kills’ campaign. Supported by and the Department of Children, Schools and Families, it is primarily aimed at children aged between 5 and 7 years to help reduce the number killed or injured in fires.

In the UK between 2007 and 2008 16 children under the age of 11 were killed in fires, and a further 1,300 were injured in house fires. During 2008, over 13,000 fires were started by children under the age of 18, more than half of which were caused by matches, lighters or lighted candles.

Chief Fire Officer Martyn Emberson said “As a service we aim to teach the county’s pupils about safety by working with school’s to raise awareness of the dangers of fire.

“By encouraging them to go home and talk to their families about what they have learnt we hope to improve safety at home and prevent fires occurring.”

During National Schools’ Fire Safety Week in 2009 the service spoke to more than 1,800 pupils in Northamptonshire schools.