Children playing with sparklers can pose a major fire risk as West Australian’s gear up to celebrate Australia Day.
Parents are warned that sparklers designed for birthday cakes and other celebrations were not toys and were dangerous when misused.
Fire Investigation Officer Gary Baxter said this holiday period firefighters had already confiscated sparklers from three children caught playing with them in dry bush.
“Around Australia Day sparklers become popular but when in the wrong hands they can spark house fires and even significant bushfires putting people’s lives in danger,” Mr Baxter said.
“Children should never be left unsupervised with sparklers or matches and cigarette lighters and children of any age should never experiment with fire anywhere including bushland.”
In the lead up to Australia Day last year, youths playing with sparklers caused a major bushfire at Ballajura which burnt 25 hectares.
“People who start a fire through negligence are not only breaking the law, but may be liable for the cost of fighting fires and compensating people who suffer damage,” Mr Baxter said.
“People should be aware that if children deliberately caused the fire the cost recovery could even extend to their parents.”
Mr Baxter said because sparklers were so easily available firefighters need the help of guardians to reinforce the fire safety message with their children at home.
He said businesses selling sparklers, lighters and matches were also encouraged to be more vigilant when selling these products to children and teenagers.
For more fire safety information visit www.fesa.wa.gov.au
To report suspicious fires behaviour call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000,