Red Cross warns parents about dangers of lighters: 3 fires sparked in past month
Dozens are left without homes in the Syracuse area after three house sparked from children playing with lighters all within weeks of one another.
Now, experts are stepping up to teach kids about the danger and how to prevent these types of tragedies.
The Red Cross of Central New York said that no matter the age of the child, fire safety is a conversation that parents need to start at home.
"You should always keep matches and lighters away from children but, also have a discussion about why they shouldn't play with them. Just because they cant get to it doesn't mean if they find it they're not going to try to figure out what it is," Emily Patch from the Red Cross explained.
The rescue organization said it is key that parents and guardians also talk to their children about what to do if a fire breaks out at their home.
"You really want to make sure they know what to do when they hear a fire alarm go off because it's an alarm that could scare them. They might think they did something wrong. You want to make sure they don't hide in the house. You really want to make sure they have a fire escape plan," Patch said.
An escape plan should be set up and practiced beforehand.
Experts say fire drills should be performed at least twice a year, once at night and once during the day.
The Red Cross has set up a home fire preparedness campaign. This campaign allows anyone from across the nation to call their local Red Cross and receive up to three new smoke alarms.
"We come in and install them for you and make sure they're in the right spot. We also come and do an education piece," Patch explained.
Another thing the Red Cross stresses is that every family should establish a meeting spot before a fire happens. That way the kids will know where to go if they happen to get out of the home before the parents do.