Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service has three separate schemes to work with Children & Young People who play with fire. Referrals are received from parents/guardians, Firefighters and partner agencies. These are assessed so that a suitable programme can be allocated. Working with firesetters has proved to be effective and feedback received is very positive with only a small percent needing to be referred onto another programme.
Fire Awareness Child Education (FACE) is aimed at younger children who show an unhealthy interest in fire. It consists of one or two visits and is usually delivered in the home so that fire safety messages can also be given to the parents and a Safe and Well Visit carried out. Usually extra smoke alarms are fitted in the bedrooms.
The SAFE programme is aimed at Children and Young People over the age of 10 years who have a history of fire setting. They may be referred from the FACE scheme if this intervention hasn’t worked and more work is needed. This usually takes place at the fire station.
Firesafe is a 10 week programme, one session per week and is aimed at more serious fire setters or a Children and Young People who has learning difficulties. The referrals are received from the Youth Offending Team and/or Police and can be part of their court order. However Firesafe is also offered before it gets to this stage in some cases.
All sessions last approximately 1hr – 1½ hours and cover:
- Fire awareness
- Victim awareness
- Human behaviour in fire
- Problem solving
Following intervention some Children and Young People are signposted to Young Firefighters when they have stopped this behaviour.