The Department of Fire and Emergency Services is using novel ways of teaching children about fire safety.
The department has launched its new story book Aaron’s Promise at Roleystone Volunteer Fire Brigade Station on October 17.
In the past three years people under 18 caused more than 800 bushfires and 145 structural fires.
The book is aimed at children aged four to eight and tells the tale of a young boy whose curiosity has disastrous consequences after finding a lighter in the park.
Written by juvenile and family fire awareness support officer and volunteer firefighter Chris Cairns the book calls on young readers to share in Aaron’s promise to never to play with lighters again.
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson said young children did not always realise or understand the lifelong consequences of playing with fire.
“It’s normal for children to be curious about fire however when their curiosity gets the better of them it can result in heartbreaking consequences including serious burns and devastating damage to property and the environment,” he said.
“This is where a well written book with beautiful illustrations can reach children in ways that adults sometimes can’t, reinforcing how dangerous playing with fire is.”
Roleystone Station captain Noel Plowman said it was a good book with a great message for young children.
“Kids do play with matches and a number of the house fires we attend are because basically kids have played with matches in the bedrooms and even in backyards behind the shed,” he said.
“It’s really just reinforcing that message you don’t play with fires.
“You let a fire go and it quickly gets out of control and it’s only a matter of minutes before a room or house is in an uncontrollable situation.
“It’s absolutely amazing how quick a fire will spread throughout a house just from one match.”
Aaron’s Promise will be distributed to local government libraries and primary schools, to parents of young children who are referred to the juvenile and family fire awareness program and to firefighters delivering the firefighter school visit program.
For more information about fire safety visit dfes.wa.gov.au/jaffa.