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Juvenile Fire Setting
Louisville Metro Arson Bureau
501 West Ashland Avenue
Louisville, KY  40214

Monday - Friday
7:00 am to 5:00 pm

Ph: (502) 588-0800
Answered 24 hours a day
Emergency: 9-1-1

Facts, Figures & General Information
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2005 and 2009, there was an average of 56,300 “child-playing” fires each year in the United States. The annual average associated losses for these fires included:
  • 110 civilian deaths
  • 880 civilian injuries
  • $286 million in direct property damage

As if these statistics weren’t enough, 98% if the civilian deaths and 93% of the property damage occurred in home structure fires (that accounted for only one-fourth of the total number of fires). More than 90% of all civilian deaths during this period were attributed to fires being started by children playing with lighters or matches.

Is your child at risk for starting a fire?
Nearly all of the child-playing fires were set by males between the ages of 4 and 18 years. Child-playing fires that were outside or unclassified peaked during the hours of 3:00 and 6:00 pm. Serious or repetitive fire setting is often an indicator of other emotional or peer problems.

NFPA offers these safety tips to public educators, parents and the general public to help prevent these types of fires:
  • Store matches and lighters out of children’s reach and sight, up high and preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Never use lighters or matches as a source of amusement for children; they may imitate you.
  • If your child expresses curiosity about fire or has been playing with fire, calmly, but firmly, explain that matches and lighters are tools for adults only.
  • Use only lighters designed with child-resistant features. Remember, child-resistant does not mean child proof.
  • Teach young children and school-age children to tell an adult if they see matches or lighters.
  • Never leave matches or lighters in a bedroom or any place where children may go without supervision.
  • If you suspect your child is intentionally setting fires or unduly fascinated with fire,get help (see resources listed below).

Additional Resources:
Bingham Child Guidance Center
200 E. Chestnut St., Suite 200
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 852-6941

NFPA's "Children Playing with Fire" report by Ben Evarts, November 2011
Also see: Children Playing with Fire Fact Sheet

NFPA does not test, label or approve any products.

10416 Watterson Trail   |   Jeffersontown, KY 40299   |   Ph: (502) 267-8333   |   Fx: (502) 267-0547
10416 Watterson Trail   |   Jeffersontown, KY 40299   |   Ph: (502) 267-8333   |   Fx: (502) 267-0547