East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo
East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo


Firewise can help in different ways: 

  • Firesetting
  • Hoax/Malicious calls
  • Fear of fire
  • Other fire related concerns 

Please download referral form (below) or email firewise@esfrs.org for help and advice.

Children who play with fire are an increasing problem. Very often, the child's fire play begins from curiosity.

However, in some cases, the problem may be more deep-rooted.

  • The child may turn to fire to vent their feelings of frustration, anger or jealousy.
  • It may also be a very graphic cry for help with a specific but unspoken problem.

 Unfortunately, many parents do not recognise the symptoms, even fewer the cause.

The tell-tale signs of firesetting

  • Small burn holes in carpets
  • Charred paper in sinks or wastebaskets
  • Matches or lighters hidden in bedrooms
  • An unusual fascination with fires
  • Unexplainable fires in your home

Why do children set fires?

Children who play with fire do so for various reasons, ranging from natural curiosity to attention seeking. Without help and guidance, firesetting behaviour can develop - leading to more serious consequences such as major injuries, damage to home, schools, property and even death.

What is the programme?

The first visit by the advisors will attempt to discover more about the young person involved and establish a trusting relationship.

Advisors can, by agreement, visit your home, or school or similar location where young people feel comfortable.

If there is an agency referral parent or carer consent will needed.

The duration of advisor involvement may vary depending upon the specific circumstances and problems. Your advisor will discuss times with you and will be available to answer any questions.

This behaviour should be recognised and dealt with to ensure that it does not continue into adulthood. You should also consider your own actions and how they may influence the behaviour of children for whom you are responsible.

Who are the advisors?

All our advisors are employees of East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service. They are fully trained; however they are not Psychologists. 

Contact details

If you would like more information about this service:

Telephone : 0303 9991009

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