can I recognize if my child is at risk?
Children who exhibit any of the following characteristics
may be involved in fire play:
- Keeps matches or lighters but doesn't smoke
- Smell of sulphur in the child's bedroom
- Toys or other personal effects that appear melted
There are other identifying attributes that may or
may not identify an at-risk child. These include an
inexplicable need for privacy, being a "loner", unusual
fascination with fire trucks or fire related events
do they (the children) do these things?
Children who commit arson typically fall into one
of X categories:
- Angry or upset over something or someone
Children often have difficulty in displaying their
true feelings or emotions. In particular, when they
are upset with someone who is very close to them,
such as a parent, they may not be able to explain
exactly what is bothering them. Yet they still need
to cry out. Some children deliberately break laws
knowing that they will be caught. Fire, because
it has been introduced to them from an early age
as a major taboo, is an easy method for them to
Odd as it may sound for a grown-up, sometimes
children do things just to discover what happens.
They have no cruel intentions, they just want to
see what happens when a pile of papers burn. In
the majority of these situations, the child is certain
that they are working in a safe environment and,
if anything happens, then it was clearly an accident
(in the child's eye).
Some children do destroy things because they want
to. They may find some form of perverse pleasure
in watching other people's (or even their own) property
disappear in a flash of flames.
do I contact?
Persons concerned, looking for further information
or wishing to have their child entered into the program
are welcome to contact their local fire department directly
or local TAPP-C Assistance Line.
|Area of Service - Lead Contact - Phone Number
||Local Fire Dept. Name - Phone Number
why does this
The fire department TAPP-C officer will interview
the caregivers/parents, usually at the fire hall or
over the phone, to help them determine if the child
needs the program. If a child enters the program the
following steps will occur:
- Home visit by the fire department – to assess
the fire safety of the child's residence.
- The caregivers/parents will be offered the opportunity
to have the child receive a Tapp-c assessment. This
(risk) assessment will give the caregiver information
as to the potential for the child to be involved with
fireplay or firesetting in the future.
- The child may be recommended to receive counseling.
- Three other visits (usually at the fire hall) with
the child and caregivers/parents will occur. The child
as well as the family is instructed on the dangers
of fireplay or firesettng.
there any follow-up?
If a child, after the initial four steps is involved
in fireplay or firesetting, a single follow-up booster
session may occur.
much will it cost?
The TAPP-C program is managed by local steering committees
in partnership with the Fire Marshals Public Fire Safety
and CAMH, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Each TAPP-C steering committee may have its own funding
policies or guidelines. There is generally NO cost to
the youth or their family but is a question you may
wish to ask your local agency.
can I make my home safer?
The Ontario Fire Marshal's office provides a comprehensive
list of home
fire safety recommendations.
Over half of all known incendiary fires in Ontario
are motivated largely by mischief and vandalism. Of
these fires, the majority are set by children. (Source:
TAPP-C flyer, Office of the Fire Marshal and CAMH)
the TAPP-C Program
The Arson Prevention Program for Children
(TAPP-C) is a program that involves professionals from
fire departments and community agencies across Ontario.
The program will provide strategies to deal effectively
with a child's fireplay or firesetting. The program
will also try to determine why the child has been involved
with fire and whether he/she will continue to be involved.
TAPP-C's goal is to reduce fireplay or firesetting behaviour
among children and to keep them and their families safe
from fire. We offer fire safety education training by
the local Fire Service and TAPP-C fireplay/firesetting
(risk) assessments from local mental health agencies.
The typical TAPP-C steering committee
is a collaboration between Fire and Police Services,
School Boards, Children's Aid and Mental Health agencies
from across the community to develop roles and responsibilities
and maintain protocol for the agencies involved.
Since it takes just one match to seriously
injure or destroy, we strongly recommend that all families
with children who have fireplay or firesetting contact
your local TAPP-C agency.
THE OXFORD COUNTY TAPP-C STEERING
TAPP-C was introduced to Oxford County in September
of 1996. The Ontario Fire Marshals' Office, with representatives
of the Center for Addiction & Mental Health, Clark
Division, presented a half-day workshop to possible
stakeholders who could potentially come in contact with
juvenile firesetters. It was agreed by these agencies
that a mechanism to assist in the identification and
education of juvenile firesetters and their families
was needed in Oxford County.
An Oxford County Steering Committee consisting of Fire
and Police Services, Mental Health Agencies, Children's
Aid Society, Public and Separate Boards of Education
was established in October, 1996 as a result of this
Since its inception this Steering Committee has developed
a TAPP-C protocol manual, this TAPP-C information and
statistical website and provided training for the professionals
who will use the components of the TAPP-C program in
the field. Oxford County continues to maintain a strong
partnership with the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire
Safety Council and the Center for Addiction & Mental