Children & Fire

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Prevention First 2004

Some fires started by children are deliberate acts designed to cause harm, many others are not. Those that are not, have much in common with other causes of unintentional injury. The children & fire resources we have listed here deal with both types of problems and have been divided into the five categories listed at the top of the page.

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions About Children and Fire

Why Are Children Fascinated With Fire?

It's the question we hear most often when parents, teachers and caregivers want to understand children's fireplay: Why are children so fascinated with fire? Find out in this article from Prevention 1st Foundation.

Counseling Children Who Play With Fire

Whether they happen in school or at home, intentionally or unintentionally, fires set by children are always cause for concern. Most school counselors will, at some point in their careers, be called on to work with a child who has started a fire or played with fire. Read more.

Juvenile Firesetting: A Community Guide to Prevention and Intervention

Fireproof Children shares more than 25 years of research and hands-on experience by fire investigators and child development experts.

Recommended Children's Books on Fire and Fire Safety
The non-profit injury prevention organization Prevention 1st compiled this list of recommended books for their program After the Fire: The Teachable Moment.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

The CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) works to reduce morbidity, disability, mortality, and costs associated with injuries.

WISQARSTM™ (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System) is the Injury Center's interactive, online database that provides customized injury-related mortality data and nonfatal injury data useful for research and for making informed public health decisions. WISQARS can provide customized reports based on user specified age groups and geographicl information.

FBI Uniform Crime Reports

Arson is the only crime tracked by the FBI for which more juveniles are arrested than adults. Access the FBI’s Crime in the United States online, published annually with data about the volume and rate of criminal offenses at the state and national level.

Children Playing with Fire (2010), National Fire Protection Association

This report presents the overall size of the problem and trends relating to children's fireplay including data representing the deaths, injuries and property damage resulting from child started fires. A 6-page executive summary is available free to anyone from NFPA Research & Reports. NFPA members can get the full report for free. Note: An additional report, Analysis Issues Associated With Children Playing With Fire (2009), identifies some of the issues associated with the terminology and methdology used in describing and reporting children playing with fire.

Characteristics of Home Fire Victims (2010), National Fire Protection Association

This report by Jennifer Flynn examines civilian casualties in homes for patterns by age, sex, race ethnicity and region of victim, relative to various circumstances surrounding the casualty, such as the cause of fire. Special attention is given to trends involving high-risk age groups, including preschool children. The 94-page report is availabe from NFPA Research & Reports.

Intentional Fires (2009), National Fire Protection Association

According to FBI statistics, 47 percent of arson arrestees were under the age of 18. A 6-page summary is available for free from NFPA Research & Reports. NFPA members can get the full report for free.

Handbook on Firesetting in Children and Youth, David Kolko
This multidisciplinary handbook is a comprehensive source of information on all topics relating to children who set fires. For more information about David Kolko’s research and to order this book visit his website.

National Safety Council Injury Facts®, 2008 Edition. Itasca, IL.

Injury Facts® is the National Safety Council’s annual statistical report on unintentional injuries, their characteristics and related costs. Visit the National Safety Council’s website for information about how to order this and other NSC books, manuals and reports and to access many resources offered free of charge.

SOS Fires Youth firesetting Intervention Resource Site

Research available at this site includes Family Interview Studies, Juvenile Firesetting Research Project. and a Youth Firesetting 4-Year Study.

Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal.

Makes available several fire incident reports for Oregon, including Juveniles With Fire Reports.


Overviews of the IssueCommunity Programming
Educational Programs & Materials
Assessment ToolsInterventions