Six year olds get fire safety lesson

A month after a block of partly-built flats in our region was destroyed by fire and four children were arrested and bailed, firefighters have been talking to local six year olds about the dangers of lighters and matches.

A safety event's been held at Manor Field Infant School in Basingstoke, near to the scene of a big fire in the Brighton Hill area of the town on Friday 10 September 2010.

The event's been organised by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Basingstoke-based Firefighters Charity, who had planned to hold it before the fire in September, over which a 12 year old boy and three 15 year old boys were arrested and released on bail until November 2010.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Thirteen thousand fires each year in the UK are caused by children either playing around, or deliberately setting things alight.  Both Hampshire Fire and Rescue and the Firefighters Charity hope by teaching children about fire safety at a very early age, it will discourage children from playing with flames when they're older.

Station Manager Ryan Thurman said: "If we can give them some real key fire safety messages, they can take that information and take it home and talk to their brothers and sisters and friends and mums and dads, and hopefully keep that information with them for the rest of their life and hopefully divert them from that kind of behaviour."

Similar fire safety events have taken place in London, Teeside, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Devon and Somerset, as part of National Schools' Fire Safety Week.

Watch video of the children working out which items are 'toys' and which are 'tools'

Watch video of the devastating Brighton Hill fire on Friday 10 September 2010