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Nationwide, more than half of all intentionally set fires are started by youths under the age of 18. Each year in this country fires set by children and adolescents are responsible for hundreds of fire deaths, thousands of painful burn injuries, and hundreds of millions of dollars in property loss according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Young children are also the victims in these fires. Fires set by children are common and a problem affecting many families. While curiosity about fire is natural, firesetting is dangerous and deadly. It is not safe to think that youth firesetting is only a phase.
Most experts agree that the best way to understand why fires are set is to look at the motivations for firesetting. Motives can involve curiosity, experimentation, a cry for help, thrill-seeking, willful intent to cause destruction, or from mental or emotional disorders.