The following are some steps to prevent children from becoming the next juvenile fire setter:
- Keep lighters and matches out of reach of children. Many fires could have been prevented had matches and lighters been inaccessible to children.
- Teach children that if they find matches or lighters, that they should not touch them and immediately notify an adult.
- Children should not be allowed to light anything with matches or lighters even supervised until they are old enough to fully comprehend the power of fire. The key here is “supervised”.
- Playing with matches or lighters unsupervised is not a normal part of child development. This is one step beyond curiosity.
- Ensure that your smoke detectors are working by testing monthly and replacing the batteries twice a year. If a child should happen to accidentally start a fire, quick notification is important.
If left unchecked, juvenile fire setters can be deadly to themselves and others. Please do not hesitate to seek the help of your local fire department’s juvenile fire setter program.