Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have issued a reminder to parents to ensure cigarette lighters and matches are kept out of sight and reach of children, following a severe fire at a house on Ranshaw Drive in Stafford last week.
"We would like to remind parents to ensure items such as cigarette lighters, matches and candles are kept out of sight and reach of children at all times."
Station Manager, Al Bateman
A mother and her three children managed to escape the blaze unharmed after one of the children had been experimenting with fire.
Station Manager, Al Bateman said: "Following a fire investigation we established that the fire was the result of a child experimenting with a cigarette lighter or match and candles. The fire quickly took hold and spread, resulting in the house being gutted.
"We would like to remind parents to ensure items such as cigarette lighters, matches and candles are kept out of sight and reach of children at all times. If a child shows any signs of fascination with fire, we urge parents to talk to them about the potential consequences of playing with fire.
"We have a dedicated and experienced team at the Fire Service who can arrange to have a chat with your child or children about fire safety and consequences of playing with fire. We provide free help and support for the whole family with an aim to change the mind-set of the affected child.
"If you have any concerns you can contact us on 0800 0241 999 and mention your concerns whilst booking a free Home Fire Risk Check.
"Ultimately though the extent of the fire damage could have been reduced considerably had a domestic sprinkler been fitted in this new build home. We’re campaigning both locally and nationally for sprinklers to be fitted to new build properties, as will be the case in Wales from next year.
"We certainly hope home builders will start responding to these calls soon, as why should families in England deserve less protection from fire than those across the border in Wales?"