Non-Journal Articles

Youth Firesetting – Progress Towards a Coordinated Data Approach

By Phil Tammaro


While there are statistics and data about youth fire setting available from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), the issue remains as to  how this data is collected –or not– and whether the data provides a complete picture of youth firesetting and its relationship to the national fire problem?  Are we able to scientifically quantify the extent of the problem and develop intervention strategies that are evidence based?

As a means to answer these two critical questions the IAFF Charitable Burn Foundation has been working through two DHS Fire Prevention and Safety Grants. The IAFF has formed a national advisory committee, pulled together subject matter experts to provide input, and has been researching how data is collected, both nationally and in regional programs.  Significant progress has been made towards documenting the gaps in the data collection process, which is leading to the development of recommendations as to how these gaps can be closed. A report on the first phase of the project will be published shortly, but the consensus is leading towards a more robust data collection system that will help practitioners develop evidence-based intervention strategies with demonstrable results.  If you would like more information, contact Phil Tammaro from the IAFF at

About The Author

Phil Tammaro

A professional fire fighter with 20 years of experience with the Billerica Fire Department, Phil Tammaro is widely regarded as a national expert on burn prevention, survivor support and re-integration of burn survivors. He is well-known throughout the country for his work with the International Association of Fire Fighters in developing a national support program for burn injured firefighters and their families as well as leading the IAFF's National Juvenile Fire Setter Database project. Phil is a Board Certified Public Fire & Life Safety Educator, Director of the Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) Program in Billerica and New England Coordinator for the International Association of Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation- Burn Fund based out of Washington DC. He also serves on the American Burn Association Burn Prevention Committee where one of his responsibilities is the review and selection of prevention abstracts to be presented at the annual American Burn Association Conference. As a child, Phil was the victim of a house fire that resulted in 3rd degree burns covering over 35% of his body. This began his journey from victim to survivor to educator.