Babysitting Fire Safety
Taking care of children is serious business and preventing fires and knowing what to do in a fire emergency are part of the job.
- Ask the adults who hired you about the household's plan for escaping fire. You'll find out what they expect you to do, and you'll be reminding them to plan ahead for fire emergencies.
- Have them give you a home tour.
- Learn where all the windows and doors are (make sure you can open them).
- Find two ways out of each room (especially bedrooms).
- Make sure the family has decided on an outside meeting place (so you can count heads).
- Don't scare the kids, but talk to them about escaping a fire. Don't confuse them by changing their household escape plan.
Stay with the Kids
- Supervise the children when they're awake.
- Check on the children often when they're in bed.
- Stay close enough to hear them if they wake up.
- Don't smoke.
- Put matches and lighter away, high up in a locked cabinet.
- Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn.
- If cooking, declare a "kid-free zone" 3 feet around the stove or microwave; turn pot handles toward the center of the stove; NEVER leave the room; keep toys, clothing and paper off the stove.
- Follow instructions for microwave meals and never put in a container unless you are positive that it is safe; open heated containers carefully.
If There Is a Fire
Steps to Take
- FIRST-get yourself and children outside.
- Stay out.
- Don't go back for anything.
- When everyone is at the meeting place outside, take them with you to call the fire department from a neighbor's phone.
- Give the fire department the exact address of the fire and stay on the line until they tell you to hang up.
- Call the adults who hired you.
- If you run into smoke while escaping, try another way out; if you can't avoid the smoke, crawl low on you hands and knees with your head 1 to 2 feet above the floor.
- Test doors before you open them-if there is fire on the other side it will feel warm around the cracks.
- Kneel down, then reach up as high as you can and touch the door-at the knob and around the frame-with the back of your hand.
- If the door's cool, open it with caution. If it's warm, try another escape route.
If You Can't Get to the Children
- If smoke or flames are blocking the way to the children's bedrooms, leave the building and call the fire department from a neighbor's phone. Tell them where the children are trapped.