What Every Parent Should Know: Fire Behavior Profiles

There are five main firesetting behaviors that have been identified. Below we discuss their typical profiles:

Curiosity Firesetter:
A curious firesetter is likely an active child that is a hands-on (tactile) learner. The child may try to experiment with matches and lighters, but is rarely aware of fire’s destructive nature.
Crisis Firesetter:
A psychologically-stressed child may experience feelings of powerlessness. Lacking the appropriate coping or problem-solving skills, the Crisis Firesetter may set fires to act out their anger or as a cry for help, perhaps event wanting to be caught.
Thrill-Seeking Firesetter
A risk-taking youth whom sets fires, often under peer influence. Enjoys attention-getting behavior that may copy video games or internet videos.
Delinquent Firesetter:
The child is old enough to know the danger of fire, and may even have the intent to injure or kill. Fires set at this stage are often considered a criminal act, so the youth may already be in the juvenile justice system, but overall still regards such consequences as a joke.
Disturbed Firesetter:
Most likely has a high IQ but suffers from academic and behavioral problems, and possibly a history of medical and/or psychological disorders. Often times this firesetter has been victim of physical/sexual abuse, and is typically a loner with a lifelong fascination of fire.