Spring Into Safety And Prevent Juvenile Fire Setting!

News release from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue

The last week of our “Spring Into Safety” initiative highlights a very dangerous issue: juveniles playing with fire!

Did you know that children “playing” with, or starting, fires is dangerous and costly? According to the National Fire Protection Association, each year these fires cause hundreds of injuries, millions of dollars in damage, and are most likely to kill young children under the age of 5. Fire setting behavior is often a symptom of a problem and may be manifested through stress and crisis in children’s lives. It is an issue that needs the attention of parents, teachers, counselors and community leaders, in cooperation with fire and law enforcement officers.

During this Arson Awareness Week, your Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD) wants you to be aware of an educational intervention program targeted for juvenile fire setters. It is administered by nationally certified #FCFRD personnel. Referrals are received from court officials, school counselors, law enforcement officials, mental health practitioners, fire investigators, firefighters, parents, and adult relatives.

Juvenile Fire Setting Warning Signs:

  • showing interest in fire, unusual fascination with fire trucks and equipment
  • carrying fire starting materials even though they are not smokers
  • toys and personal belongings appear to be melted or charred
  • asking about how certain materials or items will burn

Safety Tips:

  • children should never touch lighters and matches
  • matches and lighters are tools for grown-ups not toys for children
  • they should tell a grown-up right away if they find matches or a lighter
  • playing with matches or a lighter could hurt other children
  • Matches and Lighters are tools for grown-ups

Fairfax County’s Fire Stop Intervention Program:

Consist of three mandatory classes – (must attend all 3 classes and complete assignments)

1st Class: Myths and Realities of Fire Behavior

2nd Class: Consequences and Responsibilities

3rd Class: Enforcement and Life Issues

For More Information about the program please contact:

Candice Johnson, Life Safety Education/Community Risk Reduction