Parents and Carers

Parents and other adults have a vital role to play in keeping children safe from fire.


SFRS are backing Child Safety Week in association with the Child Accident Prevention Trust.  The campaign covers risks to children including burns and scalds, choking and strangulation, poison, falls, road safety, drowning and fire.

Child Safety Week is aimed at helping families remove these risks and create safer environments for children.

Make sure your home has working smoke alarms.  The smoke from a fire can make you unconscious while you sleep and can kill your child in less than a minute.  Consider fitting additional smoke alarms in children’s bedrooms, particularly where there are additional fire risks such as computers, game consoles, televisions etc.  A specially designed 2020 Parent Pack has dozens of tips and includes colouring in sheets and spot the difference pictures to help you talk to your children about safety.

  • Never leave a child alone in a room where there is a candle burning, an open fire heater or in the kitchen when the cooker is on
  • Keep hair straighteners out of reach of children.  Hair straighteners get hot enough to cook bacon and eggs! They also stay hot for up to 15 minutes after they are unplugged and unfortunately that can lead to horrific burns for toddlers and young children.  

  • Use fixed guards around open fires and heaters when there are children around
  • Explain to children that fire is a tool, not a toy, and talk about the different ways that adults make use of this tool e.g. candles for light, coal fires for heat, etc.
  • Explain to children that fire can hurt or even kill. Make sure your children know the consequences of deliberate firesetting.  An outdoor fire can also delay crews getting to a real emergency.
  • Keep outbuildings, garden sheds and garages locked to prevent access to flammable items like BBQ gas canisters
  • Try to keep the home free of combustible items such as newspapers and cardboard
  • Ensure that you have a fire action plan and practice it so that everyone in the house knows what to do if the worst happens
  • Keep matches and lighters and e cigarettes out of reach from your children
  • Check your child's room and school bag for matches and lighters

Carry out regular checks for signs of fire setting behaviour, such as burn marks on carpets, beds, furniture or clothing, especially in your child's bedroom.

In any home containing a suspected fire setter, every room with the exception of bathrooms should have a smoke alarm fitted. Each alarm should be tested weekly and the battery replaced once a year.

It is important to talk through with children what to do if there is a fire – don't avoid it for fear of frightening them. Children need to know how to react, as there may not be an adult around to tell them what to do if a fire happens. Here are the basic instructions to give to your children:

  • If you see smoke or flames, tell someone straight away – a grown-up if possible
  • Get out of the building as soon as possible
  • Never go back into the building for anything

Corporate Parenting Plan:

The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 identified the SFRS as a ‘Corporate Parent’. This means that we have a responsibility to understand and respond to the needs of care experienced children and young people and care leavers.

Our Corporate Parenting Plan 2020-2023 details how we will meet these needs and signifies departments across the Service working together to ensure we respond to our legislative demands and are able to deliver the agenda throughout the Service over the next 3 years.