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Youth Firesetter Intervention Program
Glendale Fire Department’s Youth Firesetter Intervention Program
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), children under age 15 start one of every seven structure fires in which a fatality occurs. National Safe Kids statistics show curiosity fires are the leading cause of death and injury for kids nine and under.
It is estimated that youths set approximately 50 percent of all arson fires. These fires cause hundreds of millions of dollars of damage and thousands of needless injuries and deaths each year. Studies have shown that the majority of normal children possess an interest in fire and nearly half have engaged in firesetting.
While the majority of child set fires are set out of curiosity and experimentation, the damage caused can be devastating. Clearly the problem of youth firesetting and arson is a costly and often deadly problem. Whether the result of a curious child playing with matches or the malicious act of a troubled youth, firesetting is a serious problem that requires a special response from the fire service.
Youth firesetting must be viewed as a community problem, and as such, it deserves community-wide attention. Although fire departments may take the lead role in developing programs for youth firesetters, their efforts alone will not resolve the problem. It is crucial that there be working linkage established between the various community agencies capable of helping youth firesetters and their families. Schools, the fire service, law enforcement, youth justice and mental health must all establish open communication channels with one another so that an organized effort is mounted to reduce youth involvement in firesetting and arson related activities.
The Glendale Fire Department’s Youth Firesetter Intervention Program provides customized educational interventions based on the availability of the family. The primary goal of the Youth Firesetter Intervention Program is to identify children at risk for participating in unsupervised firesetting incidents and then providing educational intervention in an attempt to stop the firesetting behavior. The program is offered, free of charge, to any Valley youth between the ages of 3-17. The lessons include fire safety education, fire science, the consequences of firesetting, burn injuries, choices, and Arizona Arson and Fireworks Laws. The program also provides a parent education on home fire safety, the Arizona Arson and Fireworks Laws, consequences of youth firesetting, responsibility, and decision-making.
For more information please contact Dr. Janet Boberg at 623-930-4483. If you would like to refer your child to the Youth Firesetter Intervention Program please complete the attached referral form and either email, fax, or mail to:
Dr. Janet A. Boberg, CPM, LPC, NCC
5800 W. Glenn Drive, Suite 350
Glendale, Arizona 85301
Click here to download a PDF form.