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The Arson Prevention Program for Children

If your child is involved in fire-play or fire setting, you are not alone. Many children have a fascination with fire. Curiosity about fire is natural, but fire-play is dangerous. In fact fire is a leading cause of death among children in the home. Sadly, many youngsters start the very fires that injure or kill themselves or others. Big fires start small, many times from a single match, or lighter flame held by a small hand.

The Arson Prevention Program for Children (TAPPC) helps families deal with children who have been identified or are suspected to have been involved in this activity. The aim of the TAPPC program is to reduce fire involvement and to promote fire safety among children and youths age 2 through 17 years.

This program is effective because it combines fire safety education with an assessment, which provides a more comprehensive approach to the problem of fire setting.

What does the program do?

When a referral is made by a parent/caregiver or a community service provider, an appointment is made for the child and family to visit the Thunder Bay Fire/Rescue headquarters. A brief education session is conducted – family escape planning, reducing home hazards, understanding the destructive potential of fire – and a brief assessment is made to determine why the child might be fire setting. Based on the assessment, a child may need further support and will be referred to appropriate professionals. All information gathered during this program is securely maintained and cannot be disclosed to anyone without signed consent.

Family safety tips

  • Install smoke alarms in all sleeping areas and check them regularly.
  • Store all materials such as matches, candles and flammable liquids in a safe location.
  • Teach children that matches and lighters are adult tools, not toys.
  • Watch for signs of curiosity about fire or fire setting behaviour.

For more information call the TAPPC information line at (807) 625-3297.