Children and young people start to play with fire for numerous reasons, ranging from natural curiosity to attention-seeking behaviour.
Without guidance, this can increase and lead to more serious consequences such as injury and damage to homes.
Our specialist advisors run one-to-one education programmes for this. The scheme offers fire safety education to parents and guardians as well as children and young people.
If you're a parent and would like more information, guidance and advice - click the links below.
How can I help to prevent this behaviour?
Never leave matches or lighters lying around, even in pockets or handbags - lock them away, or put them out of reach.
Tell your child from an early age never to touch matches or lighters, that they are dangerous and can burn and are strictly for grown-ups.
What are the signs I should watch out for?
Look for signs such as burnt matches or piece of paper, or scorch marks on soft carpets or furnishings. If you find any evidence, stay calm – don’t frighten or punish your child for their curiosity.
Consider talking to them and allow them to understand the danger they are in by talking about the consequences of their actions. Seek help, or talk to a trusted member of the family/close friend.
What should I do if I suspect my child of setting fires?
- Don’t panic as most children show a natural interest and curiosity about fire.
- Act promptly because help is only one phone call away.
- We will work with individual children at home or school.
- We do not punish children, but help them change their dangerous behaviour.
We can arrange for our advisors to come and meet with the child/young person and their parents. The number of visits we make and precise way in which we deal with the issue will vary depending on the circumstances and problems involved.
Can the scheme be used to address other problem behaviours?
Yes, we also use the same personalised education technique to engage with young people who make false alarm or hoax calls to the fire and rescue service, or those who may be involved in vehicle-related crime.
Who can refer a child or young person to the programme?
Referrals can be made by any person or agency that has contact with the individual. This includes parents/guardians, schools, social services, youth offending services, the police etc.
Wherever possible, permission is sought from parents/guardians prior to the commencement of the programme.
Don’t allow fire to destroy your family. The results can be devastating. To see how we can help, contact Andrea Sterry, the Fire Setters education programme co-ordinator: