Playing With Fire

Honolulu Fire Department Captain Terry Seelig
Honolulu Fire Department Captain Terry Seelig

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Recently, three Oahu fires caused by kids playing with lighters, or matches. It's a tragedy the Honolulu Fire Department says is completely preventable, and there are steps you should take now, to protect your family.

A fire Saturday in Mililani leaves a family with more than half a million dollars of damage to their home and belongings.

The good news is everyone made it out safe. But Sunday, fire officials reveal the cause of the fire -- children playing with matches.

It's the second fire this month caused by kids playing with fire.

A child playing with a lighter caused a Salt Lake fire that killed a young boy, and left more than 30 people homeless.

Fire officials say teaching children not to play with lighters and matches is one of the best ways to stop a fire.

Here are 3 important fire safety tips:

Keep all matches and lighters out of a child's reach.

Remember, even very young children can strike matches and start fires.

And, teach kids not to touch matches or lighters they may find. Instead, they should tell an adult immediately.

But, the fire department says tips alone won't keep your family safe.

"It's not just about one tip, one time a year for parents and children. Everyone has to practice fire safety 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This isn't about responding to a fire, its about preventing fires," said Honolulu Fire Department Captain Terry Seelig.

The Honolulu Fire Department says the best way to protect your family from a fire like those mentioned, is to repeatedly talk to kids about the dangers of playing with lighters and matches.