Children are naturally curious about fire. When this curiosity turns experimental, it can be dangerous or deadly to the child as well as those nearby and responding firefighters and emergency personnel.
In Minnesota, juveniles as young as 10 years old can be charged with criminal arson. Research shows by the time a child is caught playing with fire there have been 10 previous fire starting events.
Early intervention can curb this behavior. Children in possession of matches, lighters or gasoline show a strong interest in fire and fire setting naturally follows.
The Coon Rapids Fire Department participates in a county program to help children stop playing with fire. When a child is caught setting fires in Coon Rapids, they are charged and must attend the intervention program. This educational program is helpful in curbing behaviors of most fire setters.