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About the Program

Our Juvenile Fire Setting Intervention Program is set up to identify and provide for children and families who need fire safety education, counselling and social services using community resources.

Contact the Fire Prevention Branch at 780-538-0393 for more information.

Background

Juvenile involvement in fire setting is a serious problem in Alberta. There is a tremendous cost to the community from child set fires, and too often the cost is the life of the child who set the fire. Fire setting by children is a problem that needs immediate attention.

The City of Grande Prairie Fire Department promotes partnerships between the fire service, law enforcement, mental health practitioners, the medical community, and the child advocate agencies that must deal with the aftermath of child-set fires.  

Preventing Child Fire setting

As educators and parents it is important to take a look at why children set fires.
  • Most children set fires out of curiosity.
  • Others are reactionary, because they are upset and need attention.

Parents and caregivers need to teach their children about the power of fire; that a fire can get out of control in seconds, can double in size every minute and can overcome an entire home in just five minutes.

Grande Prairie Fire Learn Not to Burn program is designed to prevent curiosity in the first place by providing fire and life safety education to the youth in our community. 

Preventative Measures 

  • Controlling access to matches, lighters and other materials that can start a fire is critical.
  • Store matches and lighters in locked cupboards.
  • Teach children if they find matches and lighters to tell an adult.
  • Parents must make sure that their children are adequately supervised. Most young fire setters are children that are unsupervised.

Preventing Adolescent Fire setting

Teenagers set fires for many reasons – a prank, a dare, to cover a crime, and most don’t realize that they are breaking the law and could go to jail.

At age 12 and older youth can get into trouble for committing crimes such as arson and may have to go to court with their parents.

Potential punishment for fire setting include:

  • Community service
  • Restitution
  • Detention/commitment.

Prevention Measures

  • Teach children and youth the proper uses and danger of fire
  • Teach independence, responsibility and decision-making to prevent impulsive actions 
  • Teach older children proper techniques for using fire and fire tools
  • Praise children for responsible behaviour and showing respect for fire
  • Set a good example for using matches, lighters and fire carefully
Last updated: 6/21/2012 10:07:21 AM