Hamilton Arson Prevention Program for Children

HAPP-C is an educational program that was developed to provide assistance to families in Hamilton that have children conducting fireplay and/or firesetting behaviour.  It is a free service that includes a home visit by a Fire Inspector to provide fire safety information to children aged 3 to 17 that are engaging in any of the following types of fire-related behaviour:

    • Fascination with fire or fire emergencies
    • Playing with matches or lighters
    • Burning various items such as paper, toys, etc.
    • Experimenting with accelerants (i.e. Gasoline)
    • Deliberately starting fires (i.e. In garbage dumpsters or in buildings)

Program Format

The education session is typically conducted in the child’s home with the parent(s) present and includes an age appropriate overview of various aspects of fire safety such as:

  • Matches and lighters are tools, not toys
  • What to do if your clothes catch on fire
  • Knowing how to escape safely from fire (i.e. Fire drills and escape plans)
  • Burns
  • Firefighters and their role in the community

The duration of the education session is typically 1 to 1½ hours in length, depending on the child’s age and his or her level of participation.  A follow-up phone call is made one month after the education session to determine if there have been any further known incidents of fireplay or firesetting behaviour.

Who can refer a child to HAPP-C?

Parent(s) can request this program on behalf of their child. Referrals can also be made by our own by fire suppression staff or from partner agencies such as Police, Children’s Aid Society, school principals, mental health professionals, etc.

How long does it take to schedule an appointment?

In most cases, the session can be conducted within the same week that contact is made.  In urgent cases, where the parents believe that there is an immediate threat of a fire tragedy, every effort will be made to conduct the session within 24 to 48 hours. 

How to request this program:

If you are a parent/guardian
Request online by submitting your name and contact information at the link below. Staff will reach out to you to schedule an appointment.
Call 905-546-2424 x1380 to schedule an appointment.

If you are not a parent
Request online by submitting your name and contact information at the link below. Staff will reach out to you to gather more information so they may connect with the child’s parent/guardian.
Call 905-546-2424 x1380 to provide the necessary information so that staff may connect with the parent/guardian to schedule an appointment.

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