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Youth Firestop

The goals of the Youth Firestop Program are to:

  • Stop curiosity fire setters from injuring themselves and others
  • Reduce property damage caused by children playing with fire; and
  • Prevent the child fire setter from becoming the adult fire setter.

How Does the Program Work?

The Manitoba Youth Firestop program is dedicated to preventing child-set fires. A program representative will work with you and your child to help ensure the fire setting stops!

The Youth Firestop Program relies on referrals from concerned parents or guardians, human resource agencies, police, local fire departments, school boards, etc.

First, the child and parent or guardian is interviewed to assess the level of concern with regard to the firesetting behaviour.

Next, the child may be called back to a local fire hall or school for a series of "educational visits" or may be referred to a community human resource agency.

Who Sets Fires?

Any child can be a potential fire setter. They may be motivated by a curiosity for fire. A crisis in a child's life may lead to fire setting as a way of expressing feelings of helplessness. Fire setting is a symptom of another problem.

Whatever the reason, most experts agree the best way to understand fire setting behaviour is to look at the reason for the behaviour.

As a Parent, What can you do?

Teach your child about fire:

  • Fire is a tool for adults, it is not a toy
  • Big fires start small
  • Even adults must follow fire safety rules

Control your child's access to fire:

  • Keep all matches and lighters out of children's reach
    (out of sight, out of mind)
  • Pay careful attention to your child's activities, no matter where in the house they are playing
  • Never leave young children alone with an open flame

Create a home safe environment:

  • Install working smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them on a monthly basis
  • Plan and practice home fire escape drills
  • Regularly inspect your home for fire hazards

Set a good example:

  • Remember to praise your children for following your instructions
  • Remember, your child is learning by watching and imitating you
  • Set fire safety rules and stick to them

When to call for help?

  • If your child has played with fire on more than one occasion (unsupervised)
  • If your child has deliberately set a fire
  • If you suspect or find evidence that your child is fire setting

Where to go for help?

  • Contact your local fire department and ask about the Youth Fire Stop Program or contact the Office of the Fire Commissioner at 204-726-6855 or 1-888-253-1488 or email: firesafety@gov.mb.ca.

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