DOJ: News Release

State Fire Marshal Announces Workshop on Children Who Set Fires

HELENA – State Fire Marshal Terry Phillips said Wednesday that his office will play host to a workshop on preventing fires set by children. Phillips said Montana is one of eight states to receive funds to host the workshop.

“This is both a great honor and a great opportunity to make our communities safer,” Phillips said. “The workshop will help fire services and other community services work together to reduce juvenile fire-setting.”

A June 2001 report from the National Fire Protection Association found that children, some as young as two years old, are responsible for starting more than 67,000 fires in the United States every year.

The workshops are funded by a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and sponsored by the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM).

To qualify for the grant, communities agreed to organize an interdisciplinary team including representatives from fire investigation, law enforcement, mental health and social services. These local teams committed to:

  • implementing a juvenile fire-setter prevention and intervention program that coordinates existing community resources,
  • getting data on child-set fires in their jurisdiction and
  • reporting progress to NASFM.

“The benefits go well beyond the workshops,” Phillips said. “Each team invited to participate will receive ongoing support from the State Fire Marshal’s office, NASFM and Fireproof Children, the international fire safety education and prevention organization presenting the workshop.”

NASFM is providing the specialized training for selected communities in New York, Alaska, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana and Connecticut/Rhode Island and Montana.

Montana’s workshop will take place February 12-13, 2003, in Helena at the Rocky Mountain Emergency Services Training Center.

For more information, contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at (406) 444-2052 or sburright@mt.gov.

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