A child's curiosity about fire can be a natural, but dangerous thing. But if the behavior goes beyond curiosity, it may be a sign of something much more serious. The Youth Firesetters Intervention Program is designed to help concerned parents, teachers, counselors and other adults recognize dangerous firesetting behavior and learn the appropriate methods for managing the problem.
One of the first warning signs of a dangerous interest in fire is a fascination with matches or lighters. This behavior can escalate to actual firesetting or other destructive behavior. In fact, figures from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) indicate that 40 percent of the fires set in the United States are started by children, and 50 percent of the child-set fires occur in homes or structures.
The Youth Firesetters Intervention Program can help to reduce dangerous fireplay through fire safety education or assistance in determining whether professional counseling might benefit a child. The fire inspectors involved in the program are not counselors, but they are trained to evaluate each child's situation and recommend solutions.