The Firewise programme provided by Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service is aimed at children and young people (and occasionally adults) who:
- have been involved in firesetting behaviour
- are at risk of becoming involved in firesetting behaviour
- are considered to have an ‘unusual’ or ‘unhealthy’ fascination with fire
- have any other specific issue related to fire or firesetting
There is no minimum age for a young person to be referred. Referrals are accepted for the Firewise scheme up to the point at which a young person reaches 18 years old (on their birthday). Each referral is dealt with individually, with a structure that is flexible both in content and number of visits.
If you have concerns about a child or young person and their relationship with fire, contact firstname.lastname@example.org providing details of your concern and request a referral form.
Referrals for those displaying firesetting behaviour, or with an unhealthy fascination with fire, but are over 18 years old are considered on a case-by-case basis.
The following advice may be useful for anyone concerned about fire risk or firesetting behaviour in the home.
What NOT To Do
- Do not leave the child or young person you are concerned about alone in the house, even for short periods of time
- Do not light candles for decorative purposes
- Do not leave burning candles unattended
What TO Do
- Ensure that matches and lighters (if kept in the home) are stored out of sight and reach of children. Where possible these should be locked away rather than hidden
- Make sure cigarettes and matches are completely extinguished
- Consider searching your child’s school bag if you think that they may be bringing lighters or matches into the home.
Thoroughly examine your child’s bedroom and check under mattresses, carpets, in wardrobes, drawers etc
- Make sure the door out of your house is easily opened from the inside to allow quick escape from fire and make sure the keys are readily available
- Ensure fires and heaters are guarded preventing children from getting close enough to burn themselves
- Ensure you have working smoke alarms on each level of your home and test them every month. Install an additional smoke alarm in the bedroom of the child or young person you are concerned about
- Consider requesting a Fire and Wellness Visit to review fire precautions within your home and receive additional advice and guidance