Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service spread the message of their Firesetter Intervention Programme to young children who are drawn to lighting fires as part of Arson Awareness Week [3-9 May]
The programme helps children and young people understand and control the feelings and circumstances that lead them to set fires. In order to communicate these fire safety messages, DSFRS has developed a video starring Sooty and Sweep to discourage children from playing with matches.
The video is staged in Sooty and Sweeps' bedroom as young children who light fires will often start them in their bedroom and ends with DSFRS key arson awareness slogan: ‘Matches, matches never touch, they can hurt you very much’.
See Sooty and Sweep in action below:
Katherine Williamson, Education Advocate for South Devon said: "Most children show a natural interest and curiosity in fire, even if they do not display any firesetting behaviour. Children may be fascinated by the glow from a real flame from when they blow out their birthday candles, to even watching an adult light up a cigarette. However, for some young people this interest develops into something more dangerous.
"The fire safety messages we deliver in schools are positive and empowering. The Sooty and Sweep video gives us a starting point to deliver these messages to nursery/reception age that is fun and informative. It encourages one of our main aims, that the children understand the dangers of playing with matches and take that message home with them. The school sessions include learning how to minimise and manage fire risk, ways to keep themselves safe, how to get help and to recognise any peer pressure and how to manage that. ”
The video is targeted at young children, supporting the Services Firesetter Intervention Program, as well as being delivered to schools throughout Devon and Somerset by the Fire Service Education Advocates and Station Watches.
Education Advocates are part of the Community Safeguarding Team focusing on fire prevention work. The school sessions delivered are designed to be fun, educational, and interactive and the video is now part of the Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) Lesson Plan.
To find out more about the Firesetter Intervention Programme and training available visit www.dsfire.gov.uk