May 6–12 is Arson Awareness Week
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department
News Release 12-30
Date: May 2, 2012
The U.S. Fire Administration has designated May 6–12, 2012, as Arson Awareness Week. This year’s theme: Prevent Youth Firesetting.
The Juvenile Firesetters Intervention Program within the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department works collaboratively 24/7 with fire investigators, law enforcement, mental health, social services, schools, and juvenile justice to help reduce the occurrence of juveniles engaged with fire. The program is administered by a nationally certified educator within the department and counseled 175 youths within Fairfax County last year.
Did you know?
- Fires started by children play accounted for 56,300 fires, associated loss of 110 children deaths, 880 civilian injuries, and $286 million direct property damage annually between 2005 and 2009.
- Younger children are more likely to set fires in homes, while older children and teenagers are more likely to set fires outside.
- Lighters were the heat source in half of child-playing fires in homes.
Best Prevention Tips?
- Never leave matches or lighters within reach of children. Keep matches and lighters out of reach in high, locked cabinets.
- Praise your child for practicing responsible behavior and showing respect for fire.
- Set a good example; use matches, lighters, and fire carefully, as children will imitate positive behavior.
Additionally, the department’s life safety education section conducts a robust fire and life safety program targeted specifically to children, the area’s most vulnerable population. Educators reached over 32,000 preschool, and school aged children last year.
The county’s last major fire was started by a child playing with a candle in an upstairs bedroom in the Dranesville area, April 26, 2012, causing more than $300,000 in property damage. Fortunately, there were no injuries.
For more information, call Daniel L. Schmidt or Captain I Randal Bittinger,
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, 703-246-3801 and TTY: 711.
Duty PIO (Weekends/After-hours): 703-877-3702
Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs,
services and activities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request.
4100 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030