PO Box 144

Pickering Ontario

L1V 2R2





   The TAPP-C Program  

About 50% of all arson fires are started by children. Most of these children are motivated by curiosity and their fascination with fire; and for others, fire play or fire setting can be a symptom of other problems and can lead to tragic consequences. Children can start fire setting at any age and it is often a progressive behaviour. This means that without help and fire education, fire play can quickly progress into fire setting, which could threaten the safety of the child and others.

This Program for Children helps families deal with children who may be involved in fire play or fire setting. The aim of TAPP-C is to promote fire safety among children and youths aged 2-17 years.

TAPP-C is effective because it combines fire safety education with an assessment, which provides a more comprehensive approach to the problem of fire setting. The TAPP-C program brings together the Fire Services and counselling professionals to educate young fire setters and their families about fire safety, to conduct an assessment regarding the risk of continued fire setting and to help them deal with problems they may be facing.

Referrals to the TAPP-C program are accepted from parents and community services providers.

The Assessment

When a referral to the TAPP-C program is made, the counsellor will contact the child and his/her parents to arrange for individual interviews. A risk assessment is done and recommendations for risk education are made.

An assessment through a counselling agency is intended to determine why a child is involved in fire setting and whether treatment is required. The TAPP-C assessment evaluates a child or youth's risk of further injury or fatality. Once assessed, children and their families may be referred for appropriate counselling.

All personal information gathered during this program is securely maintained and cannot be disclosed to anyone without signed consent.

The Fire Services

The Pickering Fire Services, or your local Fire Department, will provide fire safety education training for both the parents and the child/youth. The fire safety educational component of the TAPP-C Program focuses on certain fire safety behaviours that include such things as reducing hazards in the home and understanding the power of fire.

To start the program a fire safety educator will visit the home. The educator will work with the child and family to complete a fire safety audit of the home. Once completed, recommendations are made to make the home as safe as possible. Also, a fire safety plan is developed so that the family will know what to do should a fire start.

Following the home visit, there are usually 3 to 4, forty-five minute sessions of instruction held in the Fire Station, and are scheduled to suit the family's timetable.

Once the child/youth has completed all the sessions, he or she is presented with a certificate. The child and family can contact the Educator at any time after completion of the program and are encouraged to come by the fire hall for a visit.

Warning Signs

  • Your child likes to play with matches and lighters and uses them like toys.

  • You have concerns about your child's behaviour and their fascination with fire.

  • You have found burned items/toys in or around your house and garage, or on your child's body.

  • Fire materials, such as lighters or gasoline, are easily accessible or go missing.

  • You have caught your child playing with fire or fire materials.

For more information or to set up an appointment call:

Pickering Fire Services 905-839-8095 (24 hrs) 

Durham Region 905-436-6754 

Or, your local Fire Department




2008 Pickering Professional Firefighters Association