Why do Children and Adolescents Set Fires?
While curiosity about fire is common, fire setting is NOT- It is quite dangerous and deadly
York County Youth Fire Safety and Intervention Collaborative is a program of
York County Emergency Management Agency
Most experts agree the best way to understand why children or adolescents set fires is to look at the motivations for fire setting. Motives can include:
Curiosity or experimentation
A cry for help
Intent to cause destruction
Behavioral and emotional disorders
Easy access to matches and lighters
Children and teens know where to find lighters and matches in the home- even if you think you have them safety stored.
Failure to practice fire safety in the home
Young children, teens and adults often lack the understanding of the dangers associated with fire setting and safety rules around fire.
Easy access to information on the internet
Technology has made explicit media available to youths about a number of dangerous and often illegal activities for them to try and replicate.
Lack of Supervision
Consistent supervision by adults decreases the opportunity to set fires.