Prevent Youth Fire setting theme for Arson Awareness Week

May 8, 2012 02:55 PM
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The week of May 6-12 has been designated as Arson Awareness week by the U.S. Fire Administration and the Galesburg Fire Department is taking this opportunity to make the public aware of an important educational service that is available free of charge.
 
Galesburg Fire Department Captain Eric Hazlett, administrator of the Juvenile Firesetter Program recommends youth who have been found playing with fire, or who have a curiosity with fire meet with a local certified Juvenile Firesetter Interventionist. "We have six Illinois State Fire Marshall certified Juvenile Firesetter Interventionists here in Galesburg to meet with youth who have already experimented with setting a fire or who show signs of being curious about fires. Education based upon the child’s age, maturity and nature of the issue can be provided to help prevent a fire disaster," Hazlett added. Call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 309/345-3757 for more information.
 
Captain Hazlett shares the following facts about youth fire setting:
  • From 2005-2009, an average of 56,300 fires were started each year by children playing with fire.
  • Each year these fires accounted for 110 civilian deaths, 880 civilian injuries, and $286 million in property damage.
  • Lighters were the heat source in over half of these fires.
  • A child’s bedroom accounts for 40% of child-playing home fires.
  • When gender was coded, 83% of home fires and 93% of outside fires were started by males.
Here are some good Prevention Tips for taking a proactive approach with Youth Firesetting;
  • Never leave matches or lighters within reach of children. Keep them out of reach in high, locked cabinets.
  • Praise your child for practicing responsible behavior, and showing respect for fire.
  • Set a good example by using matches, lighters and other forms of fire carefully, as children will imitate parent’s behavior.
  • Practice you home escape plan and check your smoke detectors with your children to help them realize the potential dangers of having a fire in your home.
 
 

 

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