South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
  • In emergencies call 999
  • General enquiries 0114 272 7202
Fire engine

Think Family referrals

The ‘Think Family’ referral process is for children and young people who play with or have a fascination with fire.

Whether they happen at home, in school or in the community, intentionally or unintentionally, fires set by children are always a cause for concern as they risk serious injury to themselves and others.

Children who play with fire

Most children develop an interest in fire between the ages of three and five, having watched fire being used to cook food, seen adults lighting cigarettes or candles being blown out on a birthday cake.

It is not surprising that children and young people are curious about fire but most often they do not understand the consequences of playing with fire. Children who play with fire do not usually intend to start a fire, cause damage or hurt anyone.

Young children need clear structured advice and supervision and are led by the example of adults and influenced by their actions and behaviour. Most children and many adults underestimate the power and spread of fire and overestimate how much control they have over it.

Deliberate fire setting

Deliberate fire setters are usually older children who are aware of the consequences but the fire setting meets a particular need. This might include children who set fire out of boredom, anger or to seek attention.

How we can help

A community safety officer will visit the family home to offer a home safety check, fit smoke alarms if required and provide fire safety advice.

The community safety officer will then work with the child or young person in school over several sessions. These sessions are designed to help young people understand the dangers of fire and the possible consequences of setting fires through a series of activities.

The resources and activities are tailored towards the needs of the individual young person.

Making a referral

Partners and agencies are able to refer in using our secure referral portal. To access the portal, please contact either Julie Claytor jclaytor@syfire.gov.uk or Claire Walsh cwalsh@syfire.gov.uk who will be able to provide you with a link and login details.

You will need to confirm on the form that the fire setter or parent / guardian has agreed to have their details passed to the service. Once the referral form has been processed a fire community safety officer will contact the family by phone to arrange a date to visit at the earliest convenience.

Parents and guardians wishing to make a ‘Think Family’ referral can do so by calling 0114 253 2314.

This content was last updated on June 29th, 2021