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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions of those dealing with children and fires.

I caught my child trying to set a fire. What should I do?

Get your child help immediately. By doing so, you will be protecting not only your child, but your family and neighborhood as well.

Where do we get help?

Contact your local fire department for a screening to determine whether the child is appropriate for a fire education program.

What is involved in the screening?

The initial appointment will be 60 to 90 minutes for the parent(s) or guardian only. The juvenile should not accompany the part(s) or guardian to the appointment.

Three additional sessions will take place with eh juvenile ( and the parent(s) or guardian when appropriate). These additional sessions will be u to 50 minutes in length, and the parent or guardian must accompany juveniles to these additional appointments.

As part of the assessment, the child’s teacher and/or guidance counselor will be contacted. Once the assessment is completed, written recommendations will be discussed with the parent(s) or guardian and the youth as appropriate and will also be submitted to the Fire Marshal’s office.

What does the education program cover?

Education programs are based on the age of the child. Young children (ages 3 to 6) generally attend a three session program. Older youth to age 16 attend a total of eight sessions.

Topics for young children include:

  • Tools versus Toys, Good & Bad fires
  • Fire Prevention & Survival Skills
  • Review and Reinforcement

Topics for older children include:

  • Introduction
  • Decision Making
  • Rules to Live By
  • Victimization
  • Communication
  • Fire Science & Responsible Fire Use
  • Fie Prevention & Fire Survival
  • Alarm Devices

What can we do to protect our families and neighbors from fire?

The following can be done:

  • Install smoke detectors in your child’s bedroom closet, hallways, and common living areas.
  • Find all matches and lighters in the house and lock them up.
  • If you are a smoker, keep your lighter on your person at all times. Use only child-resistant lighters.
  • Establish a rule that your child is never to have lighters or matches!
  • Lock up all flammable liquids such as gasoline, lighter fluid, or charcoal starter fluid for barbeques.
  • Forbid children to watch shows or videos with provocative fire themes.
  • Increase supervision for firesetting children. Do not let them play alone or unsupervised in other children's homes where matches or lighters may be easily available.