The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that from 2007 to 2011 an average of 7,100 structure fires per year were caused by children playing with matches. This resulted in an average of 77 civilian deaths, 750 civilian injuries and $172 million in property damage per year.
This is one reason why Clinton Fire has implemented a Juvenile Fire Setter Program. This program is a one on one with a Juvenile Fire Setter Specialist. Here we speak with adolescents about playing with fire, the damage a fire can cause and the consequences of starting a fire. We also discuss the difference between "good fire and bad fire". This is achieved through DVDs, a variety of different interactive activities, and the knowledge and skills of our trained specialists.
This program is both proactive and reactive. Often we get referrals from school resource officers that have heard about students playing with fire whether it be in school or after school. We also receive many phone calls from parents who believe their child has been "experimenting" with fire, or as been socially involved with an arsonist or has made comments about arson. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or inquiries about the program either my phone or email.
For more information, or to read the whole report "Playing with Fire" from the NFPA.