Juvenile Fire Setter Program

Each year in the United States, millions of dollars of property is destroyed, thousands of people are burned and hundreds of people die because of juvenile fire setters. The Juvenile Fire Setter Program is dedicated to assisting children, youth, and their families with the issues related to fire curiosity, fire experimentation, and fire setting.

Why Juveniles Set Fires
Children and youth set fires for many reasons:
  • Covering Up: Children may use fire during other illegal activities as a way to cover up their crimes and destroy evidence.
  • Crisis: Some children may be experiencing a recent crisis or trauma and use fire setting as a way to cope, as a cry for help, or out of anger.
  • Curiosity/Experimentation: Children want to see how things like matches and lighters work and how things burn.
  • Imitating Behavior: Children imitate their parents, other family members, and important people in their lives.
  • Intimidation: Some use fire as a way to threaten and intimidate others.
  • Peer Pressure: Their friends pressure some children and youth into setting fires.
  • Risk Taking: Some children use fire to add an element of risk to their activities.
Whatever the reason, the Hamilton Fire Department’s Juvenile Fire Setters Program is available for assistance.

The Juvenile Fire-setter Program is a nationally recognized program involving behavior intervention. The strategy is to identify the reasons for fire starting behavior and then to educate, or if necessary, make referrals for appropriate counseling. The Hamilton Fire Department receives referrals from the court system, schools, and concerned parents.