Organizations that offer firesetter intervention programs for children and adolescents, some as young as age two or three, who have demonstrated a fascination with fire and who may have set one or more fires accidentally or through curiosity-motivated fire play. Activities generally include an interview with the youngster and his/her parents to determine the motivation for the firesetting behaviour and the severity of the problem; information regarding the appropriate and safe use of fire, child supervision techniques and responsibilities, what to do if a fire occurs and the consequences of setting fires; and a concluding tour of the local fire station. Problem firesetters with deeper problems are referred to the mental health system for counselling or, if malicious criminal intent is involved, are charged with juvenile arson and become the responsibility of the juvenile justice system. Juvenile firesetter intervention programs are often offered by local fire departments in cooperation with police agencies, schools and other community groups.
Programs that are responsible for preventing, investigating, controlling and extinguishing fires. Activities include fire safety education, firefighting, investigating the causes of suspicious fires, maintaining equipment and trained firefighters necessary for a quick and efficient response to fires when they occur, and enforcing fire codes which protect lives and property from fires and explosions arising from the storage, handling and use of hazardous substances, materials and devices, or from conditions hazardous to life and property in the use or occupancy of buildings or other premises.
Programs that provide simulated miniature towns with scaled down roads, crosswalks, commercial storefronts, traffic signs, traffic signals, railroad crossings and school buses that young children can visit and ride tricycles through to learn about safety. Classroom instruction may be provided by uniformed police officers, fire fighters, certified teachers, citizen volunteers and others; and focuses on pedestrian safety, bicycle safety, passenger safety, school bus safety, home safety, animal safety, fire safety, gun safety, poison safety, drug/substance abuse avoidance, water safety, dealing with strangers, dialing 911 in emergency situations and other safety issues confronted in childhood. Children generally receive certificates when they complete the course. Some Safety Town programs have more advanced levels for older children.
Programs that enforce the responsibility of property owners to clear hazardous weeds or chaparral from their yards and lots by notifying them when weeds and brush have reached hazardous proportions and performing the work themselves when owners fail to comply. Charges for the work are placed on the negligent owner's property tax bill.
Programs that issue bulletins or otherwise inform the public regarding the current location, severity of conditions and probable path of a brush fire, grass fire, woodland fire or large urban fire that may be a threat to those in the vicinity. Fire advisories may also include safety instructions for people who are in immediate peril.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.