Northwestern Fire Intervention Response, Education and Safety Partnership
NoFIRES, an independent non-profit 501(c)3, was developed in 2012 in collaboration with District Attorney Sullivan and local Fire Chiefs to address the impact of youth fire setting within the pioneer valley. Police, Fire and Mental Health professionals worked to develop the NoFIRES program to provide education, awareness and prevention to youth engaging in fire setting.
NoFIRE's mission is to protect our youth, their families and the communities in which they live from the dangerous and sometimes fatal act of setting fires. A collaboration of fire, law enforcement, mental healthcare providers and social service agencies, NoFIRES is committed to providing a consistent, coordinated and appropriate response to youths under the age of 18, who set fires or engage in fire-related behavior. The components of this approach include intervention, education and prevention, and referrals for clinical treatment and counseling and /or to services agencies.
Nationwide, according to FEMA, more than half of all intentionally set fires are started by youths under the age of 18. Each year in this country fires set by children and adolescents are responsible for hundreds of fire deaths, thousands of painful burn injuries, and hundreds of millions of dollars in property loss according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Young children are also the victims in these fires. Fires set by children are common and a problem affecting many families. While curiosity about fire is natural, firesetting is dangerous and deadly. It is not safe to think that youth firesetting is only a phase.
The Referral Process
- Step 1 - Complete the NoFIRES referral form at www.NoFIRES.net
- Step 2 - The family will be contacted by NoFIRES to schedule a screening. The screening team will determine if the child is appropriate for the NoFIRES Fire Safety Course.
- Step 3 - If the child is recommended for the program, the family will receive a letter with the dates and location of the NoFIRES Fire Safety Course.
- Step 4 - The child must attend all classes to earn a certificate of completion.
What Families Can Do To Prevent Fires
If your child is displaying firesetting behavior, you and your family are at a higher risk for suffering the consequences of fire. Remember, you are not the only parent ever to face this problem and NoFIRES can help.
- Supervision by adults decreases the opportunity to set fires.
- Teach children of all ages that fires, even small ones, can spread quickly.
- Teach young children that fire is a tool, not a toy, and only used by adults.
- Keep matches and lighters out of sight and out of reach.
- Always use fire with care and set a good example by using matches, lighters, and candles carefully.
- Teach children to show you when they find matches and lighters.
- Regularly inspect your home for fire hazards.
- Install and maintain working smoke alarms throughout your home.
- Plan and practice home fire escape drills that include two ways out from every room.
NoFIRES Board of Directors