THE DANGERS of playing with fire are being spelled out to county secondary schools by Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service.
They are offering a new programme to teach youngsters in Warwickshire secondary schools about the effects of arson.
The Fire Safety and Arson Awareness Programme, aimed at 11-13 year-olds, encourages students to consider long and short-term consequences of arson – such as legal ramifications, financial costs and environmental impacts.
Pupils give presentations about the extent of each consequence – which so far have taken the form of poems, raps, pictures and media reports.
During the sessions, firefighters also talk about fire escape plans, smoke alarms and ‘stop, drop and roll’ techniques.
Three schools have so far taken part in the scheme – Kineton High School, Myton School and Alcester Grammar School.
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Schools Liaison Officer, Ruth Greenhalgh said: “The new programme provides pupils in year 7 and 8 with an opportunity to look at how fire setting could impact, not only upon what they do now, but also their future.
“We talk about the consequences of getting a criminal record and the restrictions that can place upon them if they want to travel abroad in later life.
“One group of pupils at Alcester Grammar School were so receptive that they came up with a poem to summarise what they had learned.
“That has now been recorded and will be used as part of future presentations in schools.”
Warwickshire County Council community safety spokesman Coun John Horner said: “All of the schools involved so far have said that they found the sessions very useful, which is a real credit to everyone involved.
“I hope more secondary schools now take advantage of the new programme and get involved.”
Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/firesafetyeducation for more information.