The Youth Firesetter Intervention, Referral and Education Service (Y-FIRES) evaluates and educates children and youth who have misused, deliberately started, or whose interest in fire is a concern.
If your child has misused fire, deliberately started a fire or if you are concerned about your child’s interest in fire - please call Edmonton Fire Rescue Services’ Fire Prevention Office and ask about Y-FIRES.
Children referred to Y-FIRES attend a single meeting which includes:
- An interview with both the parent/caregiver and the child/youth
- An incident overview
- An educational discussion
- A video discussion
- Referral to professional help when necessary
Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Specialists can help youth understand that “playing with” or misusing fire is very dangerous. Deliberate firesetting is a serious matter. Youth who have deliberately started a fire may be indirectly indicating additional, underlying problems. Edmonton Fire Rescue Services can assist with a referral to outside agencies for further assessment when needed.
What You Can Do to Help
- Locate matches and lighters in your home and dispose of them or place them in a secure area. If you don't know where your matches and lighters are, ask your children... they do!
- If you smoke, keep the lighter with you at all times and dispose of other lighters. This sends a message to your children that you too are taking steps to be fire safe.
- Talk to your children about what they should do when they find a match or lighter on the street, in a playground or at home. They should be encouraged to report it to an adult they know - a parent/caregiver, teacher or relative. This gives your children the responsibility they need to take the right actions.
- Test your smoke alarms monthly as a family to ensure they are working.
- Develop a home fire escape plan and practice it as a family.
- Perform your own home fire inspection to ensure your home is fire safe.
If you are concerned, contact Edmonton Fire Rescue Services and ask about the Y-FIRES program. A Fire Official will make an appointment to interview your child and discuss fire safety with the family.
Signs That Your Child May Be "Playing With" or Misusing Fire
Your child smells of smoke
Your child has burned or singed clothing such as pant cuffs or coat cuffs
Your child has singed hair, eyebrows or eyelashes
You find used matches in the garbage can or toilet
You find burned or melted items such as toys, paper or plastic in garbage cans or under furniture
Your child has burned fingers or conceals their fingers to hide burned areas