What is fireplay?

  • Playing with electrical appliances such as the toaster or stove     

  • Burning items such as paper or garbage    

  • Setting a fire to destroy something or to hurt someone                                                                                                          

Warning Signs 

  • Matches or lighters are missing

  • Matches or lighters are found among your child's belongings

  • There are burn marks on household items or on your child's clothing or possessions

  • Your child is extremely interested in fire

  • Someone else has complained about your child's fire involvement

Safety Tips

  • Model safe and appropriate fire behaviour

  • Ask youth about his/her own fire-related experiences, and about friends' fire-related  activities

  • Get rid of all but necessary lighters/matches

  • Lock up all necessary lighters/matches

  • Increase monitoring/supervision to prevent access to fire materials

  • Look for burn marks or burned objects around the house

  • Look for burn marks on clothing, or burns on fingers

  • Look for matches/lighters in child's room, play space, backyard 

  • Install and test fire alarms

  • Create and practice a home fire escape plan

Help is available

Playing with fire and firesetting are extremely dangerous behaviours that create serious risks to youth, their families, and the community.  Such fire involvement can be an indication of other problems in a child's life. It can start at any age. Fire involvement in any form has to be taken seriously and addressed immediately, since it may start small but can quickly and easily progress to large and serious fires that threaten the safety of the child and the family. Overall, the two most important factors in youth fireplay and fire starting are access to fire-related materials and opportunity to use them when adults are not present. Accordingly, the two most important things that parents can do to prevent inappropriate fire involvement are to eliminate their youth's access to fire-related materials, and to remove all opportunity for them to use fire-related materials.



If you are concerned or would like to receive more information please contact your local health care provider or TAPP-C at tappc@camh.net

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Please call us at: +1 416 416-535-8501 +1 416 416-535-8501 or fill out our contact form.



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Toronto, M6J 1H4

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