Juvenile Fire setter's can be identified to the Fire Educators by a number of means including:
· School Officials
· Social Workers
· Police Department
· Firefighters with whom he or she has come into contact with
There appears to be four separate and distinct types of fire setters with which we have become involved since the inception of this program:
· The majority of these types are between 2 and 7 years of age
· They imitate adults that light cigarettes, candles etc...
· It is normal for them to have curiosity with matches or fire in general but they must be taught proper use of fire and how destructive a force it can be.
· Generally a child from 2 to teenage which is crying out for help
· Some signs to watch for would be: plays alone, inability to form close relationships, shyness, impulsive fighting with siblings or peers, extreme mood swings, bedwetting, stuttering, hyperactivity, aggressive behavior.
· Some of these children express anger by hurting themselves or destroying their own toys
· A large majority of these children have problems at school
· This could be a response to abuse or neglect
· They rarely come from a happy home situation
· Setting fires is a way to act out their anger
· Usually in their early teens with a history of suspicious fires
· Usually an act of vandalism for pure enjoyment or destroying property
· Targets for their arsons are usually abandoned buildings, open fields or schools.
· Fires can be large, premeditated and sophisticated
· Experts say that these delinquent fire setters have a history of lying, stealing, truancy and possible substance abuse
4) SEVERELY DISTURBED:
· Very small percentage of fire setters
· All ages are represented but all have behavior problems
· Most of the severely disturbed fire setters are in mental or correctional institutions
· Their treatment process is complicated, lengthy and expensive with no easy solutions