Juvenile fire setting continues to grow as the number one crime among youth, both nationally and in Washington Township. Experts say most children ages 2 to 16 are curious about fire as it is a part of their growing process. Curious fire setters have an interest in matches and lighters, but do not understand the destructive potential of fire. Intervention at this level will usually answer their questions and reduce the incidence of fire play.
A troubled fire setter may set more than one fire and display such characteristics as being impulsive or destructive. Characteristics of troubled fire setters include setting multiple fires, not getting along with their peers or having difficulty in school. Experts believe that troubled fire setters usually will not stop setting fires without some type of intervention and that their behavior can be a symptom of a problem and not the problem itself.
If you believe your child is exhibiting behaviors that indicate that he or she may be more than curious about fire, the Washington Township Fire Prevention Division can help. Personnel trained to use the FireRisk program, a nationally recognized risk assessment program, will interview your child and family members. The information gained in the interview is used to quantify the individual’s level of risk. The interviewer will share the report results with the child’s parents or guardians and present possible next steps for intervention, should the situation warrant it.
To inquire about the program or request an appointment, call (614) 652-3934.