Arson Awareness Week: May 5-12, 2012....Preventing Juvenile Firesetting!
Youth firesetting is often referred to as the preventable arson. Each year in this country, fires set by children are responsible for more than 100 fire deaths, nearly 1,000 painful burn injuries, and hundreds of millions of dollars in property loss, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Children are often the victims in these fires. While curiosity about fire is natural, fires set by children are dangerous and deadly.
But, why do kids set fires?
The best way to understand why children set fires is to look at their motivations for firesetting. For most young kids, the motive is experimentation and curiosity. Motives can involve curiosity, a cry for help, thrill-seeking, willful intent to cause destruction, or by children who suffer from mental or emotional problems. Remember, if you suspect your child is setting fires, you are not the only parent ever to face this problem. Roanoke Fire-EMS offers a juvenile firesetter program. Call 540-853-5785 for more information.
Teaching Children Fire Safety
The most critical message for children to learn is that matches and lighters are tools, not toys! Parents should never use lighters, matches, and fire for fun; children will mimic you, and when they do it unsupervised, tragic events can result. Praise your child for practicing responsible behavior and showing respect for fire. Set a good example: use matches, lighters, and fire carefully, as children will imitate positive behavior too. Never leave matches or lighters within reach of children. Keep matches and lighters out of reach in high, locked cabinets. And remember – make sure you have working smoke detectors on every level of your home! For more info, visit www.roanokeva.gov/fire-ems.