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We've all felt peer pressure in our lives. That feeling of going along with a friend or group of friends, and doing something that you normally wouldn't think of doing on your own. It could be the way you dress, it could be the way you talk, it could be the way you act. Or it could be the way you cause someone harm, and break the law. Sam Katz

Here's an example of peer pressure that involves arson.

Let's say that you're hanging out with a group of friends, and someone says, "We should light this garbage bin on fire. That'll be fun."

What are the consequences? There could be many.

A fire truck will have to be called to put out the fire. That fire could tie them up for over half an hour. During that time their fire station could get another call. It could be a much more serious call. Someone's life could be in danger. But the fire truck that should be responding is busy putting out that senseless garbage fire. Mike Beauregard

A fire truck from the next closest fire station has to now be dispatched. It could take that fire truck an extra 5 minutes or more to get there.

Let's say the call is for a person having a heart attack.

The firefighters have to be there in the first 5 minutes to save that persons life. The human brain can only survive 4-6 minutes without oxygen. The oxygen that person needs for life is on the fire truck. So is the defibrillator to restart their heart. But the firefighters and their equipment could get there too late.

If the call is for a house fire...

The firefighters have to respond in the first 5 minutes, if they hope to put the fire out before it gets too big. If someone is inside the house, the firefighters have to get that person out as quickly as possible to save their life. Anyone inside that house is being exposed to incredible heat, and smoke. They can't breathe. Seconds count! Mitch Dorge

What if that garbage bin fire spread to a nearby garage? What if a fire in the garage spread to a home? That little fire is now a big fire, What if someone is in that garage, or in that home?

What if a homeless person or homeless family were living in a vacant house or building that was lit on fire?

What if a firefighter was injured or lost his life fighting that fire?

Any of these people could be someone you know.

They could be someone you love. No matter who the person is, if they get hurt because of a fire you set, the result is the same. It could be a serious one! You'll not only regret setting that fire, but you'll be haunted by that horrible memory for the rest of your life. It's something that will be very difficult to live with.

So before your friends try to get you involved in lighting a fire, think of all the consequences. Think of all the damage, think of all the hurt you could cause. Think of how that could affect you for the rest of your life.

When friends want you to do something you know you shouldn't do. Walk away. That voice in your head that says "This is a bad idea" is the voice of reason. Listen to it.

Don't go along with friends that are a bad influence. Be strong, just say "no thanks". Think for yourself. Be your own person. Choose your friends wisely.

What makes a good friend?

A good friend wants you to be a good person. A good friend wants you to succeed in life. A good friend only wants the best for you. A good friend would never ask you to light a fire. Arson is a serious crime. A real friend wouldn't want to get you in trouble.

What makes a bad friend?

A bad friend is looking for someone to share the blame with. A bad friend wants people to go along with them, because it makes them feel like it's ok to break the law, and light fires. A bad friend doesn't care about you. A bad friend wants to get you in trouble.

Friends don't get friends to light fires. Arson is a very serious crime that carries severe penalties.

There are many opportunities ahead for you in life. Go for the good opportunities. Pass on the bad opportunities.

Choose your friends wisely. The friends you choose now could influence how you live the rest of your life.




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