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What is JFIS?

London Fire Brigade’s Juvenile Firesetters Intervention Scheme works with children and young people who set fires or play with fire.

What's it all about?

What is the Juvenile Firesetters Intervention Scheme?

The Juvenile Firesetters Intervention Scheme works with children and young people – up to the age of 18 – who play with fire or who have set fires. If you know a child or young person you are concerned about, or you have spotted worrying signs, talk to us. Acting now can save lives.

Who is the service for?

Any child or young person up to the age of 18. We support anyone who knows or works with a child or young person who needs help, though most typically, parents, carers, teachers and social workers might contact us about a young person in their care. 

Is there a lower age limit? 

No. We have worked with children from 18 months – our caseworkers are all trained in talking to children in a way appropriate to their age and needs.

What about children with different needs?

Sessions are tailored to meet the needs of all children and young people. We are experienced in working with children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and our service is inclusive. For example, we can provide a BSL interpreter if needed.

What service do we provide? 

Our specialist team offers tailored, one-to-one fire safety education to the young person as well as advice for their parents or carers. The service is free and since it launched in 2001, we have received nearly 4000 referrals, helping to reduce deliberate fires and address fire safety concerns in all 33 London boroughs.

What to expect

What help and support do we provide?

The help and support we provide is tailored to the child or young person. After a child a has been referred and parents or carers have given consent for sessions to start, we'll visit the child’s home. Further sessions typically take place at school or another suitable location. The caseworkers will work with the child or young person and their carers to find out more about what's been happening, and establish a trusting relationship. From there on, the support is personalised to what's best for the individual.

How do we talk to children and young people?

The team don't scare children using shock tactics – it's been proven that education and an understanding approach is more effective at changing firesetting behaviour. Each session is age appropriate and tailored to suit the child’s individual needs and abilities. The number of visits will vary depending on the child's needs, but there are usually three or more.

Do we provide fire safety advice too?

Yes. Whenever we work with a child or young person, we'll also offer to support the parents or carers with a home fire safety visit, where we can share advice on fire safety and fit free smoke alarms if they are needed.

What happens afterwards?

Once JFIS  intervention work has ended, we get in touch at 6 months and 2 years to check how things are going – we're here if the child or young person needs further support where appropriate. The good news is that these calls confirm over 90 percent of children we work with don't set further fires after our intervention.

Why is it important to act?

By contacting JFIS, you may save lives... 

It's really important to act if you are worried about a child who displays firesetting behaviour. Whatever the child's motives, firesetting should never be ignored.

  • Many fires are started by under 18s.
  • Firesetting isn't usually a 'one-off' – one in two firesetters will go on and repeat the behaviour without intervention.

If you're worried about a child or young person, please contact us. You could save their life – and the lives of others.

Close up of ignited lighter

Worried about a young person?

Find out more about how to refer them to Juvenile Firesetters Intervention Scheme (JFIS).

Make a referral

Extra information

Fire safety at home booklet

Download PDF (3,682kb)

Juvenile Fire Intervention Service leaflet

Download PDF (363kb)

Next steps...