The Burnaby Fire Department has recognized Juvenile Firesetting as a serious problem. Firesetting can begin at a very early age and may continue into adulthood. Early recognition and intervention can greatly reduce the risk of future firesetting incidents.
The process of intervention begins with education. At the Burnaby Fire Department children are exposed to fire safety skills as young as two years old. Child care facilities can use our Preschool Fire Safety Kit to engage with our teaching materials and then follow up with a visit to one of our fire stations.
Characteristics of a Juvenile Firesetter
It is key to determine the differences between between normal, curiosity-related fire behaviour, and abnormal or problem behaviours.
Curiosity Firesetter (these are only guidelines)
Typically, curiosity firesetters are young boys between three and ten years old. Their motivation to light fires may include:
- Lack of parental supervision
- Access to matches and lighters
- An overall curiosity about fire
Curiosity can lead to serious firesetting, so early recognition and detection is critical. Curiosity firesetters respond well to intervention.
Problem Firesetters (these are only guidelines)
These tend to be older males between the ages of seven and eighteen years. Typically this group is of average intelligence, may have some learning difficulties and often demonstrating poor academic and behavioural adjustment.
Referral for professional counselling is necessary. The underlying problems of these children must be addressed in order to alter their firesetting behaviour.
For more information please Contact Us.
What can be hazardous in and around the home? Visit our Fall/Winter Seasonal Safety Tips for suggestions on staying safe in the colder seasons.
- Slippery or wet floors
- Clutter (phone/electrical cords, shoes, pet dishes, paper etc)
- Slipping in tub or shower
- Uneven walking areas in patios, entrances, garages, sidewalks and gardens
- Loose carpets, scatter rugs
- Poor furniture arrangement eg. Not enough space, if using walking aids
- Stairs and bathrooms without secure handholds
- Clothing that is too long ( e.g. nightgowns, dressing gowns, too big pants that drag)
- Floppy ill-fitting slippers
- Pets you may trip over
What to do:
- Use skid-proof or non-slip mats in bathrooms especially in bathtub
- Install handrails, for all stairs inside and outside the house, and grab bars in bathrooms
- Use non-slip wax on floors
- Keep a night light on that is close to the bathroom, near the bed, and hallways
- Use non glare bulbs that are 100 watts or greater
- Keep all walkways free of clutter
- Tack down all carpets, remove scatter rugs
- Use a cordless phone
- Do not stand on ladder, chair or stool. Store items on accessible shelves, counter level, or below shoulder height
- Buy a long handled "reacher" at medical supply store
- Take your time, especially when carrying objects
- Wipe up spills promptly and leave something to remind you a floor is wet
- Fix or mark uneven floors
- Modify arrangement of your furniture to open up the space -- especially important for those using walking aids
Where to go or who to phone:
- Senior Citizen's Repair Services: For seniors who live in their own home or apartment and need minor repairs, the work is guaranteed. Seniors only pay for the cost of materials, transportation and small amount for labour. 604-291-1133
- Rehabilitation Assistance Program : Helps seniors with low income to pay for changes in their home such as handrails. 604-289-6322
- Handyman to tack on carpets, reroute electrical cords
- Telephone retail stores for cordless phone
- Medical suppliers can install grab bars in bathroom and have other safety equipment for the home
- Fraser Health - Burnaby Home Health at 604-918-7447
The Firefighters' Union Local 323 offers training in Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation to the public, special interest groups, and high school students in the City of Burnaby. Over 2000 people are certified in CPR each season by the firefighters, who volunteer their time for little more than lunch and gas money.
Students receive the standard in CPR training, St. John Ambulance "Heart Start". The instructors use a variety of teaching methods including lectures, videos and hands-on practical training using CPR mannequins. Funding for this program comes primarily from the Firefighters Charitable Society (Charitable Society Phone: 604-434-1717).
35 000 people in Canada die each year as a result of Cardiac Arrest. If someone in the vicinity knew CPR, some of the people could still be with us. When someone experiences cardiac arrest their chance of survival drops by 10% for each minute that passes without intervention. The Firefighters of Burnaby urge you to take one of their courses, you may be able to save the life of someone close to you.
Preschool Fire Safety Kit
The Pre-School Program is designed for fire education at child care facilities. It is an easy to teach program designed for teachers to use in their own classrooms. The kit includes a customized manual, videos, mini firefighter clothing, visual pictures to create a theme, fake fire and other teaching aides. With only a few hours a day dedicated to learning these life skills, the lesson would take approximately one week.
At the end of the teaching module, we suggest you and your class tour the local fire station. The firefighter's will be able to reinforce the messages that have been previously taught. The stations now have props and special cards to help convey fire safety.
For more information on how to book your teaching materials please Contact Us. Due to high demand and availability, these are provided to Burnaby Preschools only.