Pyromania is an impulse control disorder in which individuals repeatedly fail to resist impulses to deliberately start fires, in order to relieve some tension or for instant gratification. The term pyromania comes from the Greek word πῦρ (pyr, fire).


Cluster Number:
Wiki Number: PW180
Diagnosis: Pyromania
US Patients:
World Patients:
Sex Ratio: M10;F
Age Onset:
Brain Area: impulse control;
Symptoms: setting fires to relieve own tension, not for vengance or profit, to induce euphoria and enjoy fire houses and fire-fighters
Causes: fatherless homes light fires; parental neglect, fire lit as a stress reliever
Medications: Used for adults, resistant to therapy
Therapies: CBT, parental training and correcting assumptions; adults are usually less cooperative with CBT than children or teenagers

Youtube Video: Pyromania

(There are also several Youtube Videos on a song, “Pyromania.”)

Amazon or Library Book: Children and Teenagers Who Set Fires

Click the book to link or order from Amazon.


The world-wide medical research
reports chosen for each diagnosis 

Clicking each title opens the
PubMed article’s summary-abstract.

  • Intervention for Firesetting Offenders: A Case Study
    by Georgia M Winters on November 14, 2022

    There is little research on treatment for firesetting, especially for those who were incarcerated for their offenses. Of the treatment programs that do exist, there are limitations to feasibly implementing these in correctional settings. We propose a short-term (eight-session) program, Intervention for Firesetting Offenses (INFO), based on techniques that have been empirically supported for this population, including psychoeducation, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy-based...

  • The predictive validity of the family risk survey and child risk survey for identifying persistent firesetting risk
    by Kara Dadswell on August 26, 2022

    Young firesetter behavior poses significant risks to individuals and communities. Intervention is important to mitigate youth firesetting, and treatment needs vary depending on underlying motives. Effective screening of persistent firesetter risk to inform intervention approach is critical to ensure appropriate matching of risk and needs. This study aimed to evaluate the utility of the child risk survey (CRS) and family risk survey (FRS) for predicting persistent firesetting risk, and subsequent...

  • The Adapted Firesetting Assessment Scale: reliability and validity
    by J Collins on May 27, 2022

    CONCLUSION: A larger study is needed to examine the factor structure of the AFAS.

  • Fire Walk With Me: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Pyromania
    by David Potik on May 5, 2022

    Reports of destructive behavior by military personnel after demobilization have become more frequent; however, the pathways that might lead these individuals to commit such acts are not clear enough. This column presents the case of a retired soldier who reported the onset of pyromania after military service, and the relationship between dissociation and reenactment of the trauma is discussed. The main conclusions are that psychotherapy of traumatized patients should focus on helping them create...