Youth Firesetter Intervention Program

The Youth Firesetter Intervention Program (YFIP) is designed to provide education and intervention for children who have misused fire. The goal is to prevent fires, injuries, deaths and destruction of property. The program was started through the State Fire Marshals Office and has expanded throughout the state, including unincorporated Harris County.

About the Program


  • Children accepted from 2-18 years of age
  • No Cost
  • One-on-one Classes
  • Confidential
  • Documentation Provided
  • One-day class (approx. 2-3 hours long)
  • At least one parent must participate
YFIP Director, Debbie Taylor
(713) 274-1735
debbie.taylor@fmo.hctx.net

YFIP accepts referrals from Fire Marshal’s Office Investigators, fire fighters, schools administrators, church groups, family members, and the juvenile courts.

Kids and Fire


  • Fire interest in children is almost universal.
  • Children of all ages can be involved.
  • Curiosity about fire is natural, setting fires is not.
  • Truth is young children do not understand the consequences.
  • Older children underestimate their ability to control fire.

Youth and the Law


  • Juveniles from 10-16 years of age can be charged with the crime of arson, a felony.
  • According to FBI, two out of five people arrested for arson are under 18.
  • Parents of children 0-18 years of age can be forced to pay restitution or civil penalties.
  • Setting off a false alarm is against the law.

Myth and Facts


  • A child can control a small fire
    • Most fires start small, but can become uncontrollable quickly
  • Firesetting is a phase my child will outgrow.
    • If a child is not taught fire safety, the firesetting can get out of control easily. It is dangerous behavior; you can’t afford to wait to change it.
  • If you burn a child’s hand, he/she will stop.
    • This is considered child abuse and is against the law. Burns create fear and scars. The motivation behind the firesetting should be addressed.
  • If I take my child to the burn unit to see burn victims, he/she will stop.
    • This instills fear and does not teach the child about fire safety. We need to be sensitive to burn survivors and not put them on display.
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