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Pyrophobia, also known as arsonphobia, is the fear of fire. This phobia is ancient and primordial, perhaps since the mankind's discovery of fire.[1]


The most common cause of pyrophobia is that fire poses a potential danger, such as house fire, wildfire, and getting caught on fire. Some people who are intensely pyrophobic cannot get even close or tolerate even a small controlled fire, such as fireplace, bonfire, and lit candle.

Another cause of pyrophobia is a bad childhood experience, like getting burned.[2]


If a pyrophobe sees fire, the person may sweat, suffers dizziness or upset stomach. Person with severe pyrophobia who sees fire may panic and suffers from fast breathing, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, nausea, dry mouth, dread, feeling trapped, tremble, or faint when in the vicinity of fire.[3] People may even suffer panic attack when seeing fires through the media, like in theaters or on television.[4]


Exposure therapy is the most common way to treat pyrophobia. This method involves showing patient fire in order of increasing size, from lit cigarette up to stove or grill flame.

Another method of treatment is talk therapy, in which a patient tells a therapist about the cause of this fear, and then calming down the patient by not be afraid of controlled fire.

People can relieve pyrophobia by interacting with other pyrophobes to share their experiences that caused fear. Alternatively, pyrophobia can be treated using hypnosis.

Medication can also be used to treat pyrophobic people, although since it has side effects, the method is not highly recommended.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fritscher, Lisa (Oct 24, 2011). "Pyrophobia Is the Fear of Fire". Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Fear of Fire". Fear of Stuff. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Pyrophobia: Fear of Fire Causes, Symptoms and Treatment". Phobia Fears. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "Arsonphobia- Fear of fire". Phobia Source. Retrieved 2 July 2014.