The Fire Awareness & Intervention Programme (FAIP) is a free consequences-based education programme designed to stop young people, aged from 5 to 17, lighting fires. It aims to do this by raising their awareness of the dangers and consequences of lighting fires. Every year FAIP receives around 500 referrals for young people.
In October 2009 the University of Auckland published the results of a study that looked at repeat offending behaviours of the FAIP participants over a 10-year period. This report (An Outcome Evaluation of New Zealand Fire Service Fire Awareness and Intervention Programme) showed that 98% of young people who complete the programme are not involved in further fire setting.
What is the aim of this programme?
The New Zealand Fire Service Commission, under section 20(2) of the Fire Service Act 1975, is charged with promoting fire safety in order to: ‘reduce the incidence of fire and the attendant risk to life and property’.
New Zealand law recognises both intentional and reckless damage by fire, as arson. FAIP experience shows that many of the fires started by young people were not with malicious intent but most often caused by a lack of understanding of the speed of fire-growth and the potential consequences of their actions. While the intent may be different, the impact of their actions still has serious and at times fatal results.
In New Zealand young people are over-represented among fire-setting offenders. In 2009 63% of apprehensions were aged under 17.
We provide FAIP as a specialist intervention programme for young people who set fires. The aim of the programme is to reduce the number of deaths, injuries and the millions of dollars worth of property damage caused by juvenile fire setting. The programme doesn’t try to make the young person feel guilty, but rather educates them so they know the dangers of fire, the speed it spreads, and how easily accidents happen.
Listen to Radio New Zealand's journalist Sue Ingram as she investigates FAIP. Sue interviews participants and their families, psychologists, Police, schools, and FAIP staff as she explores why young people are involved in fire lighting and how FAIP helps them overcome this behaviour.
How does the programme work?
The FAIP programme is delivered by a firefighter trained as a FAIP practitioner and usually in a home setting. The programme is strictly confidential and voluntary (except for referrals by the Police or the court). The content and delivery of the programme varies according to the age and maturity of the young person. Practitioners use education and behaviour modification resources to challenge and correct the negative fire-lighting behaviour.
How do you refer a young person to the programme?
Parents, caregivers, schools, Youth Aid, or anyone who has legal care of someone aged under 17, can refer a child to FAIP. This can be done using any of the contact methods below.
Contact FAIP by:
Phone 0800 FIRE INFO (0800 3473 4636),