Check Out Our Advertisers!
     None  Accounting/Bookkeeping
     None  Advertising
     None  Attorney - Lawyer
     None  Auto
     None  Automotive Dealerships
     None  Aviation
     None  Banks and Credit Unions
     None  Barns and Steel Buildings
     None  Blacksmith
     None  Carpet Cleaning
     None  Chamber of Commerce
     None  Child Care
     None  Chiropractic Care
     None  Churches
     None  Computer Services
     None  Dentist
     None  Dry Cleaning
     None  Dryer Vent Cleaning & Repair
     None  Drywall
     None  Electric utility
     None  Equine Services
     None  Equipment Rental
     None  Excavating
     None  Eye Care
     None  Feed Stores
     None  Field Mowing
     None  Financial Services
     None  Firearms
     None  Flooring
     None  Florist
     None  Food Products
     None  Funeral Home
     None  Garage Doors
     None  Golf Courses
     None  Gutters
     None  Hair/Nail Care and Cosmetics
     None  Health Care
     None  Heating and Cooling
     None  Home Maintenance
     None  House Cleaning
     None  Insurance
     None  Internet Service
     None  Jewelry
     None  Landscaping
     None  Lawn Care
     None  Movers
     None  Music Lessons
     None  Painting - Interior/Exterior
     None  Paving/Asphalt
     None  Pet Grooming
     None  Pet Sitter
     None  Plumbing
     None  Portable Buildings
     None  Propane Delivery
     None  Propane
     None  Property Management
     None  Racing - Cars
     None  Real Estate Services
     None  Restaurants
     None  Roofing
     None  Schools
     None  Senior Citizens Services
     None  Sheds, Outbuildings
     None  Shipping Services
     None  Small Engine Repair
     None  Specialty/Gifts
     None  Storage
     None  Tax Preparation
     None  Tires
     None  Tractor, Trailer and RV Sales
     None  Veterinarian
     None  Window Replacement
     None  Windshield Repair


 
“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”
– Henry David Thoreau  
Contact Us | Advertise | Classified Ad | News Stands | Subscribe  

  Volume No. 14 Issue No. 10 October 2017  

None
None Adopt Me   None Black Forest News   None Book Review   None Business Briefs  
None Community Calendar   None Did You Know?   None FFPD Column   None FFPD News  
None From the Publisher   None Health and Wellness   None Marks Meanderings   None Monkey Business  
None News From D 49   None Pet Care   None Phun Photos   None Prairie Life  
None Rumors  
None
Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In
None
 
  Playing with fire: overview of juvenile firesetting
  By Robin Widmar

   Every year in the United States, fires started by children cause millions of dollars in damage, hundreds of injuries and even deaths. Some of these fires are accidental, caused by curious children playing with matches or lighters. Other fires are intentional acts of delinquency or vandalism.
   
   Determining the exact scope of the juvenile firesetting problem can be difficult since some fires go unreported, and parents may opt to handle fire play issues themselves; rather than involve a fire department or law enforcement agency. However, the National Fire Protection Association has some sobering statistics regarding children who set fires:
  • Between 2007 and 2011, children playing with fire caused an average of 49,300 fires annually.
  • These fires resulted in an annual average of 80 civilian deaths, 860 civilian injuries and $235 million in property damage.
  • Forty-three percent of structure fires in homes were started by a child under the age of 6.

   Additionally, the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that more than a third (38 percent) of all arrests for arson in 2012 involved people under the age of 18.
   
   Why children set fires
   Children under the age of 17 who start fires are considered to be juvenile firesetters. According to literature from the Colorado Springs Fire Department’s Fire Factor program, most juvenile firesetting behaviors fall into five general classifications.
  • Curiosity firesetting occurs primarily with children 2 to 10 years old who are curious about fire but lack understanding about the consequences of their actions. Contributing factors include a lack of adult supervision and access to lighters and matches.
  • Crisis firesetters misuse fire to signal a need for help. These children may be dealing with emotional trauma or stress and act out by starting fires.
  • Thrill-seekers are often influenced by their peers and enjoy the attention their firesetting receives. Some may try to duplicate dangerous stunts they’ve seen in video games or in online videos.
  • Delinquent firesetters intentionally misuse fire with the intent to cause destruction. These children may set fires, ignite fireworks or activate fire alarms because of boredom, peer pressure or an urge to show off.
  • Pathological fire starters use fire to compensate for feelings of helplessness, and have no regard for others. These children are often emotionally disturbed and represent a danger to themselves, their families and the community.

   NFPA statistics also reveal some general trends about kids who start fires:
  • Males are more likely to engage in fire play than females.
  • Younger children are more likely to set fires in homes, while older children and teenagers are more likely to set fires outside.
  • Thirty-nine percent of home fires caused by a child playing with fire began in a bedroom. Lighters were the heat source in just over half of home fires caused by fire play.

   Warning signs of a bigger problem
   While curiosity is a natural part of childhood, not all kids experiment with lighting fires. Emotional strains can also be part of growing up, but not all children turn to firesetting as a result of upheaval in their young lives.
   
   Identifying what causes some children to light fires and others to abstain from such activity isn’t always simple, but there are warning signs that parents and educators can watch for. These may include, but are not limited to
  • Extreme interest in fire and how things burn
  • Playing with matches or lighters
  • Mental health issues
  • Disciplinary problems
  • Family stresses including divorce, relocation or deployment of a military parent
  • Child abuse, neglect or abandonment
  • Aggressiveness or cruelty toward people and animals
  • Stealing, lying and drug or alcohol abuse

   Prevention and intervention
   Matt Gibbs, a driver/operator with the Falcon Fire Protection District, knows that a little prevention can go a long way. A father and former teacher, Gibbs coordinates the annual firefighter visits to second-grade classes at Falcon elementary schools, during which children learn about fire safety and other topics. He is also a Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Specialist who can facilitate the process of getting young firesetters and their parents the help they need.
   
   Gibbs said that the intervention process for juvenile firesetters is completely voluntary, unless the intervention has been ordered by the court or law enforcement. Intervention begins with a pair of risk surveys to determine issues in a child’s life that could contribute to their firesetting behavior. For example, children are asked about personal behaviors, interactions with other people, problems at home and the reasons they started the fire. Parents answer questions about their child’s overall behavior, emotional reactions and past incidents involving fire.
   
   A child’s level of risk is determined by the survey results. Children at little risk may only need an educational intervention. Those classified as “definite risk” may receive a referral for a mental health evaluation in addition to education. Extreme risk children are immediately referred to a mental health professional or agency. Additionally, and depending on individual circumstances, other organizations such as the child’s school, social services or law enforcement may need to be involved.
   
   Consequences of firesetting
   All too often, children become victims of the fires they set. About 85 percent of children killed in fires die as a result of a fire they started themselves. Gibbs tells kids, “You can hurt yourself or others you love, and injuries can be permanent. We don’t want to see anyone get hurt.”
   
   Gibbs said parents are often surprised to learn that children as young as 10 years old can be arrested and charged with arson (first through fourth degrees) or other related crimes. Such arrests can land a child in a juvenile detention facility.
   
   Parents or educators with questions or concerns about children who may be involved in firesetting should contact the Falcon Fire Protection District at 719-495-4050.
  
Facebook print this page      

  Safety Tip: Back to school
  By Robin Widmar

   August begins a new school year for kids in the Falcon area. The Falcon Fire Protection District wants to remind drivers to watch out for children who may not be watching out for them.
  • Put down the phone! Drivers should always focus on safely operating their vehicles, not texts or phone calls.
  • Obey speed limits, especially in school zones.
       
  • Pay attention to bus signals. In Colorado, it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus loading or unloading children.
  • Yield to pedestrians.

   Parents should teach children of all ages:
  • How to safely cross streets by always looking both ways and using crosswalks
  • Not to run between parked cars into the street
  • Wear helmets while riding bicycles, scooters or skateboards

   For young adults heading off to college, the National Fire Protection Association recommends selecting fully sprinklered dorms or off-campus housing. Make sure dormitories and apartments have working smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside every sleeping area and on each level. Campus Firewatch (http://campus-firewatch.com/) is a good online resource for campus fire safety checklists, videos and information.
   
   Falcon firefighters want to wish all students a safe and fun school year!
   
   Stay connected with the FFPD
   Website: http://falconfirepd.org
   Facebook: Falcon Fire Department
   Twitter: @FalconFireDept
  
Facebook print this page      


  © 2004-2017 The New Falcon Herald. All rights reserved. . About | Contact | Advertise | News Stands | Privacy Policy