Juvenile Fire Setters Program

Bedford Fire Department's Mission and Goal

We, the members of the Bedford Fire Department, dedicate our efforts to provide for the safety and welfare of the public through the preservation of life, property, and environment. 

We have developed many fire prevention programs to help us meet this goal. One of these programs is the Juvenile Fire Setters program.

The Bedford Juvenile Fire Setters program has been established to help reduce the number of fires started by juveniles within our community. With the cooperation of parents, the program can be very effective. 

How to Get Help

  • Call the Bedford Fire Department at 817-952-2500. They have personnel with special training on how to help children who play with fire.
  • Contact the counselor at your child's school. A counselor can help you deal with a variety of behavioral problems.
  • Contact the City of Bedford's Community Services Department. They have counseling services available for city residents.

About the Program

  • It's multi-leveled and adaptable for preschool aged children through teens. 
  • It starts with an initial interview with the parents, usually by phone. 
  • An appointment is scheduled with both the parents and child to evaluate the cause of the fire-setting behavior. 
  • Fire safety education is provided and a determination is made whether a referral to a specially trained health care professional is needed.

How the Community Can Help

  • Ask retailers to display lighters out of reach of children
  • Purchase childproof lighters
  • Support measures that allocate more resources to children's programs that emphasize safety education. 

Fire Facts

  • 300 children die each year in juvenile related fires
  • Most fire deaths of preschool-aged children in the home occur between 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Fire is the leading cause of accidental death of children in homes
  • A child can easily start a fire by playing with matches or lighters

Why Children Set Fires

  • Boredom
  • Anger
  • Stress in family or school
  • Need for attention
  • Peer Pressure

Consequences for Fires Include:

  • Death and Injuries
  • Millions of dollars in damage each year
  • Destruction and human suffering
  • Increased insurance rates

What You Can Do

  • The most effective intervention for curious children is proper adult supervision and fire safety education
  • Keep matches and lighters out of a child's sight and reach. Even toddlers can use lighters and kitchen matches to start a fire
  • Teach preschool children to tell an adult if they find matches or a lighter
  • Teach school-age children to give matches and lighters to an adult. Praise your child whenever he or she does so
  • Teach your child to say "no" when friends suggest playing with fire
  • Teach children that fire is a tool, not a toy. Talk about the ways adults use different tools (cooking tools, repair and building tools, and hobby tools).

What to Do if Your Child Sets a Fire

  • As a parent or caregiver of young children, take any fire play seriously
  • Immediately report all fires to the Fire Department by calling 9-1-1
  • Depending on your child's age, talk (do not lecture or scold) about the dangers of fire
  • Getting help will prevent youthful fire setting behaviors from becoming worse
  • For more parent safety tips, click here

If you have any questions about the Juvenile Fire Setters program or about any fire prevention program, call: Bedford Fire Marshal's Office 817-952-2500.