Youth & Fire misuse

Children and fire are a dangerous combination.  While it is normal for children to be naturally curious about fire, starting fires and experimenting with fire is not.  Children underestimate how quickly fire can spread and become a potentially deadly situation.  Without educational intervention, youth firesetting behavior may continue.  We are here to help!

The Virginia Beach Fire Department offers a Youth Fire Intervention & Educational Program to help families take a proactive role in keeping your family, home and community safe.  Contact the Life Safety Education office at 757-385-2875 for additional information.    

For Parents and Caregivers

-Increase supervision.

-Eliminate all access to lighters and matches.  

-Keep ignition sources and flammables in secured areas or locked cabinets out of the reach of children.

-Install and maintain smoke alarms in your home.

-Set a good example.  Never amuse children by playing with fire.  Youth will imitate your behavior.

-Monitor what your children are watching on TV, video games, online, and social media.  

-Don't allow smoking in the home.

-Regularly search your child's bedroom, closet, and personal belongings if they have been experimenting with or setting fires.

For Teachers and Guidance Counselors

-Talk to students about the importance of working smoke alarms in their homes.

-Educate children and adults to keep lighters and matches out of the sight and reach of children.

-Encourage students to "tell an adult" if they know someone has been misusing fire.

-Teach and model fire safety in the classroom.

-Know your school system's policies concerning peer pressure and bullying.  Make your students  feel comfortable about coming to you and how they can do so confidentially.

-Inform parents and caregivers immediately if a student is suspected of or has been misusing fire.

-Support fire education programs and collaboration with the fire department in your schools.

-Promptly refer students and families to the Youth Firesetting Intervention Program