*”Fire misuse” includes: juvenile firesetting fire lighting, child arson, fire play, experimentation, playing with lighter or matches, and other fire-related incidents (e.g. fireworks, explosives or bottle bombs, pulling a false alarm, lighting aerosols or accelerants, observing others misusing fire, etc.). Use of “juvenile firesetter” is discouraged as it negatively labels a child vs. focusing on changing a youth’s behavior.
Although frequently overlooked by society, youth fire misuse represents a significant problem for families, schools, fire departments, and communities. Fire misuse behaviors (firesetting, arson, playing with lighters, experimenting with bottle bombs, igniting aerosols, etc.) are associated with devastating costs, injuries, and life-changing consequences. Many people are not aware that these behaviors can also result in criminal charges, when in fact children under 18 years old account for nearly 50 percent of all arson arrests in the United States.
“Sean’s Story” examines the true story o f a convicted juvenile arsonist and the long-term consequences that can occur if fire misuse behavior is minimized, ignored, unrecognized, or untreated.
For more information, please visit University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center at www.traumaburn.org/Seans-Story