IS YOUR CHILD SAFE Most children are fascinated with fire – this is a normal behavior. Being a normal behavior does not make it safe behavior. When children actually play with matches or lighters, a parent should have concerns about the child’s safety, as well as those who live with him or her. Children under six years old are more likely to accidentally start fire which kill them or family members. Even one match can kill. Older children and youths who play with matches or lighters frequently injure themselves and /or cause damage to buildings. Starting fires may also result in severe injuries and cause life long scarring and physical limitations. Warning signs of fire starting by children include burned toys or other objects, burned matches, missing lighters and scorched furniture or floors. Fire starting can usually be stopped with early intervention. Don’t think that your child will stop when he or she outgrows the phase – IT MAY BE TO LATE. Injuries or death can result from one fire start. Don’t let the next fatality be one of your loved ones!

WHO SHOULD CALL
Any parent or guardian who has concerns that his/her child or adolescent may be a fire starter or has the potential to start fires should call the station for further information. PURPOSE There are three stages to the Juvenile Firestarters program: Consultation to the fire service personnel Assessment Intervention.

PROGRAM
In the assessment phase, the parent(s) are interviewed about the child’s behavior and family background. The child is then interviewed separately. Parents and children are also asked to complete questioners regarding the Firestarters behavior. Once the evaluation is complete, feedback is given to the parents and child, including recommendations for fire safety training and/or mental health intervention.

Macedonia Fire Department is a member of the Northeast Ohio Juvenile Firesetters Task Force. The Task Force is a coalition of professionals working together to keep the children of the Community safe from fire through fire safety, education and interventions of juveniles with fire starter behavior. Task Force members include: firefighters, police officials, mental health care providers, physicians, juvenile court personnel, social service agencies and state fire officials.

If you would like further information about the program: pcelinski@macedonia.oh.us