Quem brinca com fogo se queima!
if you play with fire you get burnt
The metaphorical phrase to play with fire, to tinker with something potentially dangerous, is also commonly found. Cf. [1655 H. Vaughan Silex Scintillans ii. 15] I played with fire, did counsell spurn,‥But never thought that fire would burn, Or that a soul could ake.
If people will play with fire, they must expect to be burned by it some time. If I had not learned the game, and thought myself a good player, I'd never have lost Mother's money.
[1884 R. H. Thorpe Fenton Family xiv.]
If you play with fire you get burnt. Shouldn't mess around in Crown Colonies.
[1980 P. Kinsley Vatchman Switch xxiv.]
Related to: action and consequence; peril