Gateway Gazette

Fire Prevention Week: Babysitter’s Fire Safety Guide

As the babysitter, you are responsible for the children in your care. Here are some important points you need to know if there’s a fire emergency in the home where you babysit.

BEFORE THE PARENTS LEAVE:

  • Write down the complete address and phone number of the place where you are babysitting and phone numbers for:
    • Fire, Police, Ambulance & Emergency Services – often one number – 9-1-1.
    • Where the parents can be reached.
    • Neighbour(s).
  • Keep this information in your pocket so that it’s with you at all times and handy in case of an emergency.

PLAN YOUR ESCAPE:

If there is a fire while you are in charge, you must know what to do:

  • Is there already a fire escape plan for the home that the family has established and is familiar with? If so, familiarize yourself with it. If not, develop one.
  • Identify all escape routes.
  • Find at least two ways out of each room.
  • Plan how you and the children will escape safely.
  • Decide on an outside meeting place.
  • Ask for a demonstration of the smoke alarm.

GUIDE TO FIRE SAFETY:

The best way to keep fire safe is to be watchful of the children in your charge:

  • Never leave children unsupervised.
  • Check on sleeping children regularly.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of their reach.
  • Do not light candles while babysitting.
  • Don’t smoke on the job.
  • Keep children away from the stove, hot liquids, electric lamps and space heaters.
  • Keep space heaters at least 1 metre (40 inches) from drapes, furniture and bedding.
  • Cook safely and only if you have permission.
  • Turn pot handles in to avoid children knocking them over or pulling them down.
  • Smother a pan fire with a lid. Never use water.
  • Make sure you know what cooking materials can be used for the microwave.

BURN PREVENTION:

Always test hot foods and liquids before feeding.

FIRE SAFETY: WHAT TO DO, BECAUSE FIRE SPREADS FAST – DON’T DELAY!

  • If your clothes catch fire, STOP, DROP & ROLL on the floor to smother the flames.
  • Cool minor burns with cold water. If your skin is blistered, charred or dead white, get emergency help immediately.
  • When you see flames, smell smoke or hear the smoke alarm, get everybody out of the house.
  • Feel the door first. If it is hot and/or there is smoke, do not open; find and use another exit.
  • Crawl low under smoke – the air near the floor is safer to breathe.
  • If you cannot escape, close the door and seal around it with cloth to prevent smoke from entering the room.
  • Always use the stairs and never the elevators.
  • Designate a meeting place a safe distance from the house and make sure everyone is there.
  • Take the children to a neighbour.
  • Phone the emergency number from the neighbour’s home.
  • Give the complete address, describe the situation and inform the operator if anyone is still inside.
  • Stay on the phone until you are told to hang up.
  • Do not go back to the house for any reason.

EMERGENCY NUMBERS:

FIRE: __________________________________
POLICE: __________________________________
AMBULANCE: __________________________________
PARENTS: __________________________________
NEIGHBOUR: __________________________________
THIS ADDRESS: __________________________________

(Source: Fire Prevention Canada)

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