This paper considers 168 child (< 17 years) fatalities killed in house fires in Scotland. Data were obtained from the records retained by the procurators fiscal, as part of a survey into all Scottish fire fatalities during the period 1980 to 1990. Although these fires were generally perceived as being tragic "accidents," we conclude that they were largely a direct result of the activities of adults in the home. We analyze this in terms of contemporaneous supervision and the child-care environment. The role of alcohol in domestic fires is particularly important. Behavioral patterns of parents and caregivers are seen to be placing children in a very high risk category and fatality rate could be significantly reduced if behavior was modified to reduce the risk. Whether these considerations imply "neglect" is partly a question of definition. It is important to recognize that the fire safety message could usefully be integrated within a more general child care or family welfare scheme. Front line professionals in these fields are ideally placed to convey this message and to make a contribution towards reducing the risk of children being killed or injured in fire.