The Grand Junction Fire Department offers many outreach services to our community. One of the lesser-known services, our Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program, provides assessment and education for children and families experiencing fireplay or fire curiosity.
Scott Myers, GJFD intervention specialist, said, “Any type of fireplay in children is dangerous. Children can’t control fire, and often experiment while they are unsupervised which can lead to dangerous situations. This is not a phase that they simply grow out of.”
Myers said, “When someone is concerned with a child’s fireplay, they can contact us for support. Essentially we reach out to the family to provide a short assessment of their risk and provide education for the child and the family about choices, consequences, and home safety.”
Parents who have children as young as one should be cautious about household items. Lighters and matches can often seem like toys to children who seek to imitate adults. All fire-starting materials should be kept secure and out of reach of children at all times. Parents can also teach children to report all found matches and lighters to an adult immediately.
Myers said, “If a family needs resources beyond what the Fire Department can provide, we can refer them to the right services for their needs.”
If you would like more information about the Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program, or would like to report a concern you have about a child’s fire curiosity, contact the GJFD Community Outreach Office at (970)549-5858 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.