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There are many reasons children may experiment with fire. They are all of concern to those in the fire service. Often children as well as adults are unable to make proper choices to remain safe around fire. If a child you care about has played with matches, lighters, fireworks, candles, has set a fire or has shown a curiosity of fire that worries you, please contact us about our Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program.
The Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program provides a simple risk assessment and fire safety education for the child and the caregiver at no charge. Everything is confidential and intended to help you keep your family safe from fire. Both child and caregiver will learn what they can do to make the home a safer place to live. Statistically, children who have set a fire will continue to do so, setting increasingly more dangerous fires. The Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program we use has been shown to end this behavior in most cases.
Until your appointment, you can make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on each level of the house and outside the sleeping areas. Test each one to make sure they are working. Look through the house and remove or secure all fire starting tools including matches, lighters, and barbecue lighters. The child can help you do these things to keep your family safe.
Most programs work with children 5 – 17 years of age. Younger children may be seen based on the situation. If a child is facing charges, the Fire Department may wait until the case is settled because attendance in an intervention program is often ordered as part of the deferment, parole or sentencing.
Fire setting can be a symptom of another challenge a child is facing. If the child is at high risk of continuing their dangerous behavior with fire, you will likely be encouraged to seek the assistance of a mental health professional to address the underlying cause of their behavior. If your insurance does not cover the costs, your local health department can often find assistance.