Fire Awareness

Juvenile Fire Awareness and Intervention Program

Run jointly by MFB and CFA for the past 25 years, JFAIP is a state-wide program where a trained firefighter works closely with a young person and their family to reduce and control their fire risk behaviour.

MFB and CFA have made a number of changes to the program designed to enhance the safety and outcomes to clients and their families, practitioners and the organisations following the audit, which was conducted in 2014.

Among the changes are:

• Interventions will be conducted alongside the client’s caseworker or with two firefighters.

• Improved initial screening processes regarding calls for assistance.

• Improved procedures to identify client’s needs before, during and after an intervention.

• Improved reporting on the program’s performance indicators, including client’s satisfaction with the program’s outcomes and goals.

These changes will ensure that JFAIP continues to deliver a quality program for all Victorians.

About the program

The Juvenile Fire Awareness and Intervention Program (JFAIP) seeks to prevent loss of life, injury and property damage through early intervention with children who exhibit risky fire behaviours.  Such behaviours can include lighting small fires and fascination with fire and flames.

There are several reasons why young people involve themselves in inappropriate fire behaviour. These include:

  • fascination with or curiosity about, the colour, light and energy released by flames.
  • attention seeking behaviour that manifests through fire lighting. This may be in response to a change in
  • their family situation or pressures resulting from learning or social difficulties.
  • peer pressure is a common cause of fire lighting and is generally associated with low self-esteem.
  • anger and revenge associated with family or friendship problems can trigger fire lighting.
  • fires resulting from malicious or mischievous behaviour can be caused by a young person who is experiencing family or social difficulties.

The Juvenile Fire Awareness and Intervention Program is a home-based, free of charge confidential service delivered State-wide by specially trained MFB and CFA firefighters.

It is tailored towards the young person’s age and maturity and their fire lighting frequency and the severity of the fires they light.

The program is conducted by the JFAIP firefighter in accordance with established quality of assurances in relation to case management performance. The firefighter aims to develop within the young person a greater respect for fire and awareness of consequences of its misuse. Importantly, at the same time, the benefits of fire are explained and the young person is taught that fire is a tool, not a toy.

All Victorian children between the ages of six and 17 are eligible to participate in the Juvenile Fire Awareness and Intervention Program. The program is voluntary (unless it is a condition of a court order) and no child/young person is denied access to the program (unless otherwise directed by their Allied Health Professional).

Accessing the program

If you discover burnt matches or papers or suspect that your child is involved in risky fire behaviour or if you need advice or assistance regarding your child’s fire risk behaviour contact the Juvenile Fire Awareness and Intervention Program State-Coordinator
Phone: 1300 309 988

More information

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