Youth Firesetting

Youth Firesetting Prevention & Intervention 

Arvada Fire has a certified program for youth who are misusing fire. For more information fill out our request form or call 303-424-3012 to speak with a certified Youth Firesetting Intervention Specialist.

You can help to protect yourself and others by maintaining smoke alarms and by controlling youth access to fire and ignition devices. These actions along with providing proper supervision will greatly reduce the chances of youth starting a fire.

How do we define youth firesetting behavior?

Any youth up to age 18 who have been involved with a firesetting incident, misused fire, or used fire without the supervision or permission of a responsible adult.  Fire use/misuse includes match or lighter use with or without the ignition of other items, or the ignition of explosive devices including, but not limited to, fireworks and chemical/reactive explosive devices.

Warning Signs

The following is a list of indicators that your child may have a serious firesetting problem. If your child has exhibited any firesetting behavior and one or more of the following, you are encouraged to seek professional help immediately:

  • Recent changes in behavior
  • Attention deficits, temper tantrums, mood swings, impulsive behavior or excessive anger
  • Problems at school, such as discipline, learning problems or unexplained absences
  • Other troublesome behaviors such as stealing, lying, and drug or alcohol use
  • Deliberate efforts to collect fire materials
  • Failure to get help to extinguish a fire
  • Extreme curiosity about fire
  • Recent loss due to health, divorce, move, loss of friendships, death of a loved one, etc.
  • History of being abused or neglected
  • Sad, withdrawn appearance
  • Poor self esteem and family stressors
  • Daydreams about fire
  • Boasts about setting fires
  • Aggressive behavior toward people or animals
  • Behaviors indicating they are a loner, a risk taker, or a fighter
  • Fire set deliberately to harm others or to destroy property
  • Fire set out of anger or in response to a family problem

Caregivers can learn more about youth firesetting from YFIRES.