First, and as stated in the diagnostic manual DSM IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), pyromania is diagnosed as a mental illness characterized by a lack of impulse control.

Secondly, once the pyromania is objectively defined, we will go into more detail and understandably detail what the common profile of the so-called Pyromaniacs.

In order to blame a pyromaniac for a fire, a number of requirements or characteristics that are common in this mental disorder must be combined.

The essential feature will be the deliberate and intentional provocation of fire on more than one occasion. Usually, The arsonist will be a repeat offender and possibly with a criminal record of the same nature.

What Is The Reason For Causing The Fire?

The pyromaniac does not pursue any instrumental purpose, that is, the subject does not set a fire to get something in return, such as economic, ideological motives, revenge or anger.However, they set a fire because it produces gratification, well-being or even feels a state of liberation and personal satisfaction.

In addition, it is important to clarify that the individual feels great tension and emotional activation before the act.

However, the fire is almost never caused in response to delirium or hallucination, nor is it usually explained by the presence of a dissocial or antisocial personality disorder.

In short, the pyromaniac is going to carry out his actions because he feels identified by fire and gratify yourself with what he did and feels proud as a person.

Personality Traits Of A Pyromaniac

Personality Traits Of The Pyromaniac

The personality characteristics of the pyromaniacs are related to any activity whose protagonist is fire. For example, a pyromaniac resident in your province is very impressed to news and events that mention to fires.

There is so much expectation that they have for the fire that they are able to cause false alarms by simply drawing attention and feeling satisfied again in themselves.

In addition, as a curious fact, it has been shown that many subjects with this mental disorder are often associated, or have been at one time, with volunteer services, such as civil protection or, even, tend to have close friendships with people working in the firefighter profession.

Another significant aspect characteristic of this disorder is that they will be apathetic and indifferent to the consequences of the fire; they are people who have no empathy with society, on the contrary, they do not care at all what the destruction caused by the fire.

Also, as we have already explained, they are people who are usually known by the security forces for having a record related to this crime.

The Most Relevant Aspect Of This Profile In The Personal Sphere

In most cases, the perpetrators of this type of event are males between 20 and 50 years of age, uneducated, a low IQ and resident in a place close to events.

In addition, they are people who often resort to alcohol, show great interest in fire-fighting tools and utensils.

In their family environment, they are often self-absorbed, manipulative and opportunistic and, above all, with lack of remorse and guilt in their daily acts, always looking for intense and risky sensations. In short, they tend to show emotional instability in their socialization with others; therefore, they will almost always commit criminal acts individually.

Finally, with regard to the acts committed, it is usually a person who, after having caused the fire, will become nervous and often it will be herself who will confess voluntarily as a material author.

Characteristics Of An Act Of Vandalism

Act Of Vandalism

We will not go far into these kinds of fires which are caused as a result of vandalism, as we all know what this criminal method is.

One of the essential differences with pyromaniacs will be the number of perpetrators and/or participants in the crime. Because of the personal characteristics that we have previously mentioned, the pyromaniac acts only, whereas in a vandal act  two or more people are going to intervene in the commission of the crime.

Another distinction that we must point out is the understanding we have of both the facts and their legality. On the one hand, the pyromaniac will not be able to understand at that time the damage he is causing, although he does know that the behavior is anti-legal, that is, contrary to the law. However, the “Vandal” will be aware of both aspects; on the one hand, he will know the wrongfulness of his actions and be aware that his conduct is not allowed.

This is the difference to penological effects according to our current legislation since the perpetrators of the vandalic act will respond for their actions, for they are aware of both what they did and the unlawfulness.

In this type of incendiary situation, it is also often characteristic of acts of vandalism that the perpetrators are generally male, aged between 12 and 30 years.

In any case, police investigations will determine whether it was an act of vandalism or the action of n pyromaniac; profiles are theoretical aspects that can help to channel an investigation and to encircle the possible or potential material authors of the facts in 60 or 80% of the cases.

Finally, there is a relevant feature that coincides with both profiles, both that of the Vandalic Act and pyromaniac. In both cases, once the facts have been committed, the perpetrators will be afraid, nervous and under pressure.


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