Advice for parents
Children are curious about fire and flames. Some can be so fascinated they'll put lives, including their own, in danger. If you're responsible for a child, you're legally responsible for any illegal actions carried out by that child. So if you think your child may be lighting fires deliberately, you must do something about it.
The Service has two intervention schemes available to young fire setters -
FACE - 3 - 11 year olds
Fire Safe - 11 - 18 year olds
Both schemes help young people understand and control their feelings and the circumstances that led them to fire setting. At the same time we teach them fire safety awareness. All our advisors are trained and employed by North Wales Fire and Rescue Service; they normally work in pairs and will provide information, support, advice and training to you and your child.
FACE normally consists of two sessions and is conducted at home. Fire Safe consists of 1 - 10 sessions and is delivered at a fire and rescue service premise and is tailored to the needs of the individual. Both programmes are aimed at low to medium risk fire setters
What parents can do?
Families are often reluctant to take action on what they think (and hope) is a one-time occurrence. Sometimes families simply ignore the seriousness of the behaviour. However, ALL children who have engaged in fireplay or fire setting behaviour need intervention. Even very young children who were just curious need to be educated on the dangers of fireplay so that they do not continue the behaviour and grow up to be arsonists.
Here are some specific things that parents can do:
Talk to your children about the realities of the law. A fire that is set can lead to the charge of Arson. This is a serious crime, fire can destroy property, injure others, or take lives.
Set a good example. Most young people learn how to use fire by watching the adults around them (most often parents). If the behavior of adults does not show respect for fire, the behavior of children most certainly won't.
Keep matches and lighters in a safe place, high and out of reach of young children. Lock them up if necessary.
For information on assistance that North Wales Fire and Rescue Service can offer please contact the Arson Reduction Team or call 0300 123 6698