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City of Rochester

Juvenile Firesetter Program

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What is a Juvenile Firesetter and why do they set fires? 

A Juvenile Firesetter is generally a child under the age of 18, who accidentally or purposely starts a fire. Nearly 85% of the victims of child set fires are children themselves.

According to the United States Fire Administration, in the United States annually, juvenile fire play is responsible for over:

  • 300 Deaths
  • 2,000 Injuries
  • $300 Million in property damage

Fires involving child curiosity are the leading cause of residential fire related death and injury among children ages 14 and younger. Other causes include:

  • Curiosity or experimentation
  • Anger or revenge
  • Cries for help
  • During times of crisis
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Emotional disturbances

The goal of educational intervention is to teach youths about:

  • The power of a single match
  • The speed of fire and it's uncontrollability
  • The consequences of fire play
  • The laws surrounding intentionally set fires
  • General home and family fire safety

Who can call with concerns about child fire play issues?

  • Teachers
  • Parents or Grandparents
  • Guardian or care givers
  • Pediatricians
  • Pastors

All contacts are kept completely confidential

  • All education interventions are conducted by "Juvenile Firesetter Intervention" trained Fire personnel, and usually take place in the privacy of your own home, at your convenience. Group presentations can also be arranged.
  • If needed, youths are referred to numerous agencies and services to make sure the child gets the help they need to prevent a potentially life threatening disaster.
  • If you suspect a child is developing a fascination with fire, or has been caught playing with fire, call the Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program.

Informational Video

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Contact our Fire Investigation Unit at (585) 428-7036, visit the local fireproof children or the Finger Lakes Burn Association websites for more information.


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