Have you found your child playing with matches or lighters? Curiosity about fire can be a natural, but perilous thing. Children and young adults misusing or playing with fire can have dangerous or even deadly results. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Fairfield Fire Department's Juvenile Firesetters Intervention Program may be able to help with this potentially dangerous behavior. The service is free, and all information is kept strictly confidential. The program educates children and parents to stop firesetting behavior from continuing.
Juveniles from 5 to 17 can be referred to the program from any of our partner agencies or by concerned parents. Participation is voluntary except for those referred by the Juvenile Court authorities. Trained fire personnel conduct interviews to determine potential causes of the curiosity and if further help is needed. If the behavior is found to be suggestive of more serious problems, referral to specialized social services or mental health agencies will be recommended. For others, the program educates them in fire safety through the performance of various educational studies. Parents assist the child and keep track of his/her progress. It is the intention of this program to teach the child the dangers of fire and ways of making his/her family fire safe.
The program normally takes three to six weeks to complete. Scheduling will be handled on an individual basis, but normally every 6 days until complete.
To enroll in the Juvenile Fire Setter program contact the Fire and Life Safety Educator for the City of Fairfield Fire Department. We will be able to answer questions and see if the program is the best answer for you and your child. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
These five steps can help prevent firesetting:
Firesetting: Facts or Myths?
Myth: "It's normal for children to play with fire."
Fact: While curiosity about fire is common, fire play or setting is not, and it can be deadly.
Myth: "It's a phase that he will grow out of."
Fact: It is not a phase and you must deal with it immediately or it may continue.
Myth: "If you burn their hand, they will stop."
Fact: If you burn your child, they will be scarred, that's all. You must address the real reason for the fire before the child will stop.
Myth: "If the fires are small, it is no big deal."
Fact: All fires and fire play start out as small fires. Anytime a child sets a fire, they are endangering themselves and those around them. That's a big deal.
Myth: "Firesetting is pyromania."
Fact: Pyromania is a disorder. Firesetting is not. It is a behavior that can have many causes and can be stopped.