Arson Prevention for Children

The Arson Prevention Program for Children (TAPP-C)
A child's fascination with fire begins at an early age. If your child is involved in fire-play, you are not alone. Many children have a fascination with fire. It is important to understand that while curiosity about fire is natural, fire-play is dangerous. In fact, fire is a leading cause of death among children in the home. Unfortunately, many youngsters start fires that injure or kill themselves or others.

What is Fire-Play?

Fire-play can be many things:

  • Playing with matches or lighters
  • Playing with the toaster, stove or furnace
  • Burning items such as toys, paper, or garbage
  • Setting a fire to destroy something or hurt someone

If you notice any of the following, your child may be involved in fire-play:

  • Matches or lighters go missing
  • Matches or lighters are found among your child's belongings
  • There are burn marks on household items or on your child's possessions
  • Your child is extremely interested in fire

Help is Available
Fire setting presents an enormous risk to children, their families and the community. Fire involvement can be a sign of other problems in a child's life. It can start at any age. Fire-play can start out small and progress to larger and more serious fires that threaten the safety of the child and the family. It's important that you deal with any fire involvement immediately. That's where TAPP-C comes in.

The TAPP-C Program
The Arson Prevention Program for Children (TAPP-C) is a program that brings together fire service professionals and counselling professionals to help families deal effectively with children and teens involved in fire-play. The fire service professionals educate children and their families about fire and how to develop good fire safety practices. Counselling professionals assess the risk of continued fire involvement and help children and their families deal with the problems that may contribute to the firesetting. TAPP-C is free of charge and is available to children from 2 to 17 years of age.

Please call the Municipality of Port Hope Fire Department main administrative office at (905) 753-2230 for more information or if you feel a child of yours is a candidate for this program. All information received is confidential.

Keep your child safe from fire. You can help to protect child and family by following these fire safety tips:

  • Make sure that young children are supervised at all times
  • Keep matches and lighters locked away where children cannot get them
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Test them regularly
  • Develop and practice a home fire escape plan
  • Have rules for smoking that every smoker in your household must follow
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