Guidelines and Fire Safety Tips for Babysitters
Preparation Is Key To Success
An Evacuation Plan
- Having the knowledge to prevent fires is a great asset, especially when babysitting young children. Fire is the second leading cause of death in the home. Many children believe that playing with fire is a game. By discussing the topic of fire with children many injuries can be prevented.
- Make sure to get all important information regarding fire safety from the adult(s) who have hired you to take care of their children.
- Memorize the escape plan as well as the meeting place outside in the event of fire. If they do not have a plan in place, remind them of the importance of planning and practicing two ways out of each room in the home.
- It is important to get all of this information in advance.
- Have the adults give a tour of the household. Make sure that all windows and doors are accessible to you.
- Locate two ways out of each room.
- Have them show you where the fire alarm (if applicable) and extinguisher(s) are located.
- Find out if the smoke alarm has been tested recently and is working.
- Fill out the babysitter information sheet and keep it with you at all times.
- Be sure to have a meeting place with the children to make sure everyone has left the house safely.
- Note the children's prior knowledge on fire safety. If they are unaware of how to escape a fire be sure to have them talk with their parents. Do not make the children scared of what you tell them.
- If a meeting place is set do not puzzle them with making a new safe place.
Rules for Babysitting
- Be sure to monitor the kids while babysitting them.
- Also make sure to check on the kids periodically if they are asleep.
- Keep the sound of the television low and listen for any strange noises.
- Be firm with rules so there are no discipline problems.
- Do not tie up the phone lines with calls from friends-it could divert your attention away from the child(ren).
- Do not smoke or use candles. Ask the parents to keep all matches, lighters, and other fire devices out of reach from children. Suggest they keep them up high or put them into a locked cabinet.
- Any space heaters should have three feet of open space surrounding them. Do not put anything that can burn near or on it. Keep the children from playing around the space heater.
- If you must cook for the children do not let them or their toys near the stove. Set down rules for the kids before cooking. Make sure all pots and pans handles are facing inward, and never leave the kitchen unattended while cooking.
- If using the microwave use microwave friendly containers. Do not leave the food in longer then the directions say. Let all food cool down before touching or eating.
- If a fire starts, do not attempt to put it out yourself.
If a Fire Occurs
- Your number one priority is to get the children and yourself out of the house safely and quickly.
- Never go back into the house!
- Once everyone is out of the house safely, and at the meeting place call the fire department from a neighbor's house.
- Make sure to give the dispatcher your exact address, phone number, and any other information in a clear voice. Do not hang up until they say it is fine to do so.
- Call the adults who have hired you AFTER you call 911.
- If your primary escape route is not passable due to smoke or fire use your backup plan. If smoke is unavoidable, crawl low to the floor with your head no higher than two feet above the ground.
- Check all doors for heat before trying to leave the room. Use the back side of your hand to check the door while kneeling down. If it is not hot open the door slowly and make sure it is clear.
If the Children are Trapped
- Once outside, keep the children you are watching with you at all times. During a fire they may try to run back into the house for a pet. If the children that you are babysitting cannot get out of the house call the fire department from a neighbor's house or use a portable phone. Be specific when telling them where the children are located in the house.
Babysitter Information Sheet
- Emergency Personnel Numbers
- Fire Department:
- Police Department:
- Poison Control:
- Family Doctor:
- Personal Information
- Address of House:
- Nearest Cross Streets:
- Family's Name:
- Where Parents can be Reached:
- Expected Time the Parents will Arrive Home:
- Children's Names and Ages:
- Emergency Contacts:
- Any other Pertinent Information:
Download "The Super Sitter" (PDF) by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.