Juvenile Fire Setter Program

A juvenile fire setter is an adolescent under the age of 17 years old. The adolescent becomes involved in fire setting behavior as a result of: 

  • Curiosity
  • Crisis
  • Peer-pressure
  • Delinquency
  • Neurotic reasons

In response to juvenile fire setter behavior the Daytona Beach Fire Department refers all area cases to the Youth Firesetters Intervention Network of Volusia County. The Youth Firesetters Intervention Network of Volusia County is a multi-agency collaborative effort to provide educational and diversionary programs for youth directly involved in fire setting behaviors.  

Remedial counseling is proposed for under-age youths that are indicating an at-risk fire setter behavior. The program’s overall objective is to keep these children out of the judicial system and prevent any possible injuries or property damage that may result from this behavior.  

How the program works

This program is a one-on-one fire safety class for child and parent. The first step will include an assessment to determine the child's behavior category. This will determine the correct course of action with age-appropriate activities, videos, and a question and answer session for the family. The program could include referrals to social services for additional counseling to benefit the child.

Referrals initiate from on-duty fire department personnel, police department personnel, and the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). If the program is ordered by DJJ, information is required to be provided to the appointing judge. 

Myths versus Facts

It is normal for children to play with fire.Although curiosity about fire is common, playing with or setting fires is not typical.
Fire setting is a phase children will outgrow.
This is not a phase. Youths need the proper education or they will continue to experiment with fire.
If your child only sets small fires, you don't need to worry.
Small fires and large fires all start the same. Any fire can quickly get out of control and endanger lives, especially when being handled by a youth.
Telling your children not to play with fire or punishing them if they have will cure the problem.
These measures are often not enough to ensure no further fire play for children who are interested in fire. Discovering why the child has an interest, teaching them about fire in a safe manner and limiting access to matches and lighters often are more successful.


If you are aware of a child 17 or under who has started a fire or is known to play with matches/lighters, please contact the Fire Safety Unit for information about these opportunities at (386) 671-4012.