Age-appropriate education is a very important part of our youth firesetter intervention program. The Duluth Fire Department provides 3-hour education classes offered free of charge to children and their families. Classes are held at the Copper-top church.
Individual, one-on-one meetings are held with children seven and younger. The goal of these meetings is to increase knowledge of fire safety in this age group. Children are taught exit drills, why smoke alarms are important, what to do in a smoke-filled home, to stop, drop and roll, and that fire is a tool for grown-ups, not a toy for children.
Another goal of the class is to stop fire curiosity among youth. This is done through the explanation and practice of fire safety behaviors and the explanation of consequences involved with youth firesetting. After learning what they are, the children practice key fire safety behaviors.
Children ages eight through twelve attend a fire safety education class on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. The goal of this class is to stop youth set fires. This goal is achieved by discussing the consequences of firesetting, reasons why children set fires, the impact of firesetting on the community, and key fire safety behaviors.
Juveniles ages 13 through 17 also attend fire safety education class on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. The goal of this class is to stop firesetting behavior, understand the consequences of fire setting and identify ways to make better choices. In this class, the students discuss Minnesota arson and fireworks laws, the definitions of felony and misdemeanor, the consequences of firesetting, how the community is impacted by firesetting, and key fire safety behaviors.
During these classes, the parent or caregiver of the child attends a separate group led by a licensed social worker from the Human Development Center. The goal of the parent group is to raise the awareness of parents and caregivers to the issues and consequences surrounding youth firesetting. Included in the discussion are parenting tips, fire safety education and the Minnesota arson and fireworks laws.
Duluth Fire Department personnel teach all of the youth firesetter intervention classes, which are free of charge to all attendees.