Fire Fighting in Canada

Headlines News
CAFC campaign targets kids who play with lighters

Sept. 21, 2009, Winnipeg - Canada's fire chiefs have announced a pilot project aimed at limiting childrens access to lighters and matches.

September 21, 2009
By The Canadian Press

The pilot project will begin in Calgary, Toronto, and Winnipeg as well as several smaller communities in Ontario.

Fire department staff will ask retailers to voluntarily refuse to sell matches and lighters to minors.

The project also seeks to educate parents and care givers about the impact of children playing with fire.

The program was announced Sunday by the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs at its annual conference in Winnipeg.

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Hundreds
of fires are caused each year by children playing with lighters and
matches, resulting in deaths, injuries and millions of dollars in
damage, said Cambridge Fire Chief Terry Allen, the project leader.

"Fire
chiefs consider this pilot project to be an important approach to
reducing fire-related injury and property damage, particularly because
victims are the youngest and most vulnerable members of our
communities," said Allen.

Retailers will be provided with stickers and posters to display in their stores as part of the public education program.

Dr. Sherri MacKay, an expert on child arson, says arson and fire setting are significant public health and safety concerns.

"Individuals
under age 16 play a prominent role in this problem, accounting for more
than half of all fire related arrests," said MacKay.

"This
initiative could help reduce juvenile fire setting by reducing access
to fire setting materials and influencing youth and community
attitudes."