Kids and fire: Curiosity is normal; setting fires is not. The power of fire is a mystery to most people. With their first birthday candle we introduce children to the world of fire, and the misconception that small fires are easily controlled. All fires start small and are often deadly.
Fire is used inappropriately in advertising, movies and television programming as well as by kids on YouTube. Children have escalating access to these media which in part contribute to the higher than you might think incidence of youth setting fires.
Arson is the fourth leading cause of fire in Minnesota. In 2012 alone, intentionally set fires caused more than $10 million in damages. (Fire in Minnesota 2012) Consistently, more than half of Minnesota arson arrests are kids under 18-years-old. (Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension)
Several educational programs are available, from a quick 1-hour presentation to a full National Fire Academy week long course. The following are learning objectives for various courses’ content:
Presenter: Kathi Osmonson, Deputy State Fire Marshal
Deputy State Fire Marshal Kathi Osmonson is assisting YFPI program managers across the state of Minnesota, working towards a regional network for all who work with these children. Her background is both volunteer and career firefighting including 25-years on the trucks, and a passion for fire prevention education and youth firesetting intervention. She is an adjunct instructor with the National Fire Academy and Minnesota State Colleges & Universities. She is developing an official Minnesota Youth Firesetting Prevention & Intervention Certification through the Minnesota State Fire Certification Board.
ADDRESS: 553 Fairview Ave. Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104