Juvenile Fire Safety and Firesetting Intervention

List of MA Programs and Resources pdf format of juvenile_firesetting_intervention_programs.pdf<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

Parents Guide to Internet Safety

Prevent Fires Due to Children Playing with Lighters and Matches pdf format of Prevent Fires Due to Children Playing with Ligh...<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

Myths and Facts About Children and Fire links to PDF file – USFA Coffeebreak training

Factors Influencing Youth Firesetting Behavior links to PDF file– USFA Coffeebreak training

Youth Firesetting: What You Can Do links to PDF file. – Pamphlet from the U.S. Fire Administration


Fires Started by Children and Youths

From 2008 through 2012, there were 747 juvenile-set fires reported in Massachusetts. These fires caused four civilian deaths, 38 civilian injuries and 20 firefighter injuries and an estimated dollar loss of $8.2 million. Over half, 53%, of these fires were reported to the Mass. Fire Incident Reporting System (MFIRS) as started by “children playing with matches and lighters” (the outdated code in the system to track juvenile set fires.)

Juvenile firesetting intervention programs tell us that this number is far below the real number of fires set by juveniles. Children and youth tell us that they set many other fires before the one that brought them to the attention of authorities.

Professional Evaluation and Appropriate Intervention

Whether a child is merely curious about fire, making a cry for help, attempting to control the adult world, or engaging in delinquent behavior, it is extremely dangerous for children to use fire. Children and youth who use fire can be helped, but they must receive the right kind of help. It is not a phase that they will grow out of, it is not a matter of boys being boys or yelling at them or burning their fingers or other such methods. The reason a child uses fire must be identified by a trained professional and addressed. Each child must be evaluated and given the correct intervention program. Intervention programs vary, typically containing one or more of the following components: education, psychological treatment or community service.

Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect in Massachusetts

Firefighters and police officers are mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect by statute (Massachusetts General Law CH 119-section 51A). Often times, in the performance of their duties they are called on to suppress or investigate fires that involve children who have been victimized by these fires. On some occasions, these children have caused the fires. If as a mandated reporter, you have questions about what constitutes abuse or neglect of children or your responsibilities as a mandated reporter please go to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) website links to PDF file.

To report possible child abuse or neglect in Massachusetts, you must first file an oral report by calling the Child-at-Risk Hotline at 1-800-792-5200 to notify the appropriate area office of the Department of Social Services(DSS). Even if you complete the 51A Report Form links to PDF file, you must also first phone DCF directly or the Child-at-Risk Hotline. For information on how to report child abuse and neglect outside of Massachusetts, please call the National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD.

Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Training:

This 6-day course provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify children and adolescents involved in fire-setting. The course addresses how to establish programs to meet the needs of these youths and their families. The skills essential to meet the Youth Fire-setting Intervention Professional Standard which is part of NFPA 1035, Standard of Professional Qualifications for Public Fire and Life Safety Educator are discussed and practiced throughout the course. The course framework guides practitioners through the process of developing a comprehensive strategy to combat the misuse of fire and incendiary devices by juveniles. The course focuses on how identification, intake, screening, disposition and follow-up are used to mitigate youth fire-setting behavior. It also empowers students with knowledge on how to develop, implement and evaluate a youth fire-setting prevention and intervention program. Students will interview children and/or adolescents from a local residential treatment program for youth fire-setting. There is a pre-course assignment due upon arrival to the first day of the course (assignment to be given upon acceptance into the course).

MA State Police Bomb Threat Checklist links to PDF file

School fire reporting law

Law Enforcement:
Quick Reference Guide for Fire and Explosive Laws links to PDF file  file size 1MB

Mental Health:
Mass. Juvenile Court Clinics Summary links to PDF file

Definitions of Clinical Diagnosis links to PDF file
Psychoactive Booklet links to PDF file
Psychoactive Booklet – Spanish links to PDF file
Medication Manual for Consumers and Families links to PDF file
Medication Manual for Consumers and Families – Spanish links to PDF file

The Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership, www.masspartnership.com keeps a current list of Emergency Service Providers (ESP)
Click here for the Emergency Service Providers (ESP)

State & National Agencies
Fire & Explosion Investigation Section (MA State Police assigned to DFS)

Department of Children and Family Services (formerly the Department of Social Services)
MA Juvenile Court Department
U.S. Fire Administration – Info on Youth Firesetting
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency (U.S. Dept. of Justice)

National Criminal Justice Reference Service
National Center for State Courts

Articles and Statistics
Fire Risk to Children in 2007 links to PDF file(PDF, 370 Kb) USFA Topical Fire Research Series, Vol. 11, Issue 9, February 2011

School Fires links to PDF file(PDF, 657 Kb) USFA Topical Fire Research Series, Vol. 8, Issue 1, August 2007
Article on Juvenile Firesetting Trends
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Article on Juvenile Arson – (FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin April 2005)
links to PDF file
Article on international presenters at a National Association of State Fire Marshals conference on juvenile firesetting
Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, Hot Issues website links to PDF file

“Children Playing With Fire” research article on the NFPA website as follows: Go to: www.nfpa.org then Quick Links >> Fact Sheets & Safety Tips >> Children and fire >> Reports and statistics
CBS News footage of Juveniles Detonating Bombs
ATF U.S. Bomb Center – Contact Information to acquire current statistics

Links to the 2008 Uniform Crime Report, published by the FBI

This information is courtesy of the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.