May 6 marks the beginning of Arson Awareness Week. The theme this year is “Prevent Youth Firesetting,” and the Central County Fire Department is taking action through its Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program.
The program provides a platform through which parents can talk with their children about fire and its dangers with the help of the fire department.
The provided some tips online for how to handle young firesetters.
If a child is found playing with matches or fire, the matches should be taken away and parents should take the opportunity to educate the child on the consequences of playing with fire. Injury, legal action, financial loss and property damage are all potential outcomes of playing with fire, and should be discussed. Parents should use the opportunity to assess the risk and potential of their child playing with fire again, based on the child’s reaction to the conversation.
If a child playing with matches leads to a fire requiring the fire department's assistance, the family is required to enroll in the program. However, even if there is not a spreading fire necessitating department attention, parents are encouraged to schedule a meeting for their child with the Fire Prevention bureau.