Children and young people's behaviour in accidental dwelling fires: A systematic review of the qualitative literature

Julie Mytton*, Trudy Goodenough, Claire Novak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Children and young people are considered one of the most vulnerable population groups when exposed to accidental dwelling fires. Understanding how children behave in these circumstances and the reasons for their decision making are important to support rescue and fire safety education. We undertook a systematic review of the qualitative literature to identify studies where children and young people were asked to recount their experiences of being in an accidental dwelling fire in order to inform UK Fire and Rescue Service training and fire safety education programmes. We found no studies designed specifically to explore children's behaviours in dwelling fires, and only four studies (including 39 children's stories) where their behaviours had been recorded coincidentally to the main study aim. The evidence arising from these stories was frequently incomplete, often out of date (15–20 years old), and 38/39 (97%) of stories were from the United States. This review indicates there is inadequate evidence of the current lived experience of children in accidental dwelling fires to support fire and rescue services in either their fire and rescue training or community fire safety education activities, particularly for non-US countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-149
Number of pages7
JournalSafety Science
Volume96
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Accidental fires
  • Children and young people
  • Dwelling fires
  • Fire evacuation
  • Human behaviour

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