Dancing flames and colorful glowing embers hold great attraction for many people. But for some children, that fascination may turn into intentional and repeated firesetting behaviors. There is growing concern throughout the United States over the number of fires started by young children and adolescents. Fires are the number one cause of death in the home for children under five, of which one-third of these children died in fires they started. It is natural for a child to express interest in fire. Curiosity about fire is part of a child’s growth process, especially between the ages of 2 and 9. By understanding what circumstances lead children to start fires, and by following a few basic fire safety practices, you can reduce the chances of your child starting destructive fires intentionally. For example, the majority of fires set by young children are set out of curiosity or experiment.
The Wilmette Fire Department’s Juvenile Firesetters Program offers families help in dealing with child firesetters. Trained counselors will conduct an interview to determine the severity of the fire setting problem. If the situation involves an accidental fire or a fire set out of curiosity, a Juvenile Firesetter’s Class is offered to the family at no cost. This class provides information on the proper use of fire, as well as fire safety information. When appropriate a referral can be made to a counselor at no cost.
To learn more about the program or to schedule a session, contact Deputy Fire Chief, Ben Wozney at 847-853-7693 or firstname.lastname@example.org.