Youth Fire Prevention Intervention Specialist 
Tami Overstreet 


Bedford Fire Department’s Mission and Goal


We, the members of the Bedford Fire Department, dedicate our efforts to provide for the safety and welfare of the public through preservation of life, property, and the environment.

We have developed many fire prevention programs to help us meet this goal.  One of these programs is the Juvenile Firesetter Program.

The Bedford Juvenile Firesetter Program has been established to help reduce the number of fires started by juveniles within our community.  With the cooperation of parents, the program can be very effective.


How To Get Help


  • Call the Bedford Fire Department.  They have personnel with special training in how to help children who play with fire.

  • Contact the counselor at your child’s school.  A counselor can help you deal with a variety of behavior problems.

  • Contact the City of Bedford’s Community Service Department.  They have counseling services available for city residents.


About The Program


  • It is multi-leveled and adaptable for pre-school children aged through teens.

  • It starts with an initial interview of the parents, usually by phone.

  • An appointment is scheduled with both the parents and child to evaluate the cause of the firesetting behavior.

  • Fire Safety Education is provided and a determination is made whether a referral to a specially trained health care professional is needed


How The Community Can Help


  • Ask retailers to display lighters out of reach of children

  • Purchase child proof lighters

  • Support measures that allocate more resources to children’s programs that emphasize safety education.


Fire Facts


  • 300 children die each year in juvenile related fires.

  • Most fire deaths of preschool-aged children in the home occur between 8:00 AM- 4:00 PM.

  • Fire is the leading cause of accidental death of children in homes.

  • A child can easily start a fire by playing with matches or lighters.


Why Children Set Fires


  • Boredom

  • Anger

  • Stress in family or school

  • Need for attention

  • Peer Pressure


Consequences of Fires Include


  • Death and injuries

  • Millions of dollars of damage each year

  • Destruction and human suffering

  • Increased insurance rates


What You Can Do     

The most effective intervention for curious children is proper adult supervision and fire safety education.


  • Keep matches and lighters out of a child’s sight and reach.  Even toddlers can use lighters and kitchen matches to start a fire.

  • Teach preschool children to TELL an adult if they find matches or lighters.

  • Teach school age children to GIVE matches and lighters to an adult.  Praise your child whenever he or she does this.

  • Teach your child to SAY NO when friends suggest playing with fire.

  • Teach children that fire is a tool, not a toy.  Talk about the ways adults use different tools (cooking tools, repair and building tools, and hobby tools).

  • Explain how adults use matches to light candles, start a campfire or light a barbecue.

  • Teach your school age child the safe use of fire.  Provide opportunities for your child to light matches under adult supervision, such as lighting the candles on a birthday cake.


What To Do If Your Child Sets A Fire


As a parent or caregiver of young children, take any fire play seriously.


  • Immediately report all fires to the Fire Department by calling 9-1-1.

  • If your child sets a fire, use an immediate consequence, such as taking away a privilege or using time-out.

  • Depending on your child’s age talk (don’t lecture or scold) about the dangers of fire.

  • Getting help will prevent youthful fire setting behavior from becoming worse.

For more information click on this Parent's Safety Tips page that will provide you with more information on ways to prevent your child from becoming a young firesetter. 




If you have any questions about the Juvenile Firesetter Program or about any fire prevention program, call:   Bedford Fire Marshal's Office   (817) 952-2500


1816 Bedford Rd, Bedford, Texas 76021  (817) 952-2500

Fire Chief, Sean Fay