Fire safety tips for parents, babysitters and caregivers

Caring for a child is a big responsibility. Part of this responsibility includes teaching children about fire safety. They should know the dangers of fire and what to do if there is a fire.

The below tips will help keep you and the children in your care safe from fire:

  • Make a home fire escape plan, to detail how you will escape your home if there is a fire. This plan will map out your home and identify two ways out of every room, as well as a meeting place outside. Practice your home fire escape plan at least twice per year during the day and at night. Teach children to escape on their own if you can’t help them in an emergency.
  • Write your home address and emergency phone numbers in an easy-to-find place, like on your fridge, so children can find them in an emergency.
  • Smoke alarms can be scary to young children; be sure children know what the smoke alarm sounds like and teach them that they need to get outside and stay outside when they hear the smoke alarm.
  • Be a good example. Always use fire sources – matches, lighters, candles, fireplaces and campfires – in a safe manner.
  • Teach children the dangers of lighters and matches.
  • Closely supervise children and make sure they keep their distance from fire sources like lit candles, cigarettes, firepits, space heaters and stoves. Explain that fire moves quickly and can hurt as soon as they touch it, which is why they need to keep their distance.
  • Set clear rules and consequences for inappropriate uses of fire and give praise for showing responsible behaviour towards fire.

Printable resources

When There is a Fire

  • Get out and stay out. Never go back inside for people, pets or belongings. Follow your household emergency plan and meet in a safe location outside of the home. If you have to escape through smoke, stay low to the ground.
    • If you can’t escape, close the door to the room you are in. Cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out.
  • Call 9-1-1 from a cell phone. Give the exact address of the fire and stay on the phone until the operator tells you to hang up.

Stop, drop and roll

If your hair or clothing catch on fire, STOP, DROP and ROLL.

  • STOP immediately! Do not run or try to take off your clothing
  • DROP to the ground as quickly and safely as possible. Use your hands to cover your face.
  • ROLL back and forth on the ground until the fire is out.

Lighters and Matches

  • Keep in mind that:
    • not all lighters are child-resistant
    • child-resistant does not mean child-proof
    • lighters that look like toys are appealing to children
  • Teach children to never touch lighters or matches and to tell an adult if they find lighters or matches.
  • Always keep lighters and matches out of sight and out of children’s reach. If possible, keep them up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Check under beds and in closets for burnt matches. Burnt matches may be evidence that your child is playing with fire.

Preventing Burns

Children younger than five are at the highest risk for burn injuries.

  • Teach children the difference between hot and cool, and teach them to stay away from common items that could be hot, including the following:
    • tap and bath water
    • stoves and ovens
    • curling and flat irons
    • fireplaces and firepits
    • mugs filled with liquid
    • candles
  • When cooking, make sure pot handles are turned towards the back of the stove to avoid children knocking them or pulling them down.

Babysitting Safety Tips

If you are a parent hiring a babysitter, have the information below ready for your babysitter. Have them arrive early so you can give them a home tour and discuss your home fire escape plan.

If you are a babysitter, you are responsible for the children in your care. Below are some simple tips that will help keep you and the children you are babysitting safe if there is a fire.

Before the caregivers leave, write down the following information:

  • Home address
  • House phone number (if applicable)
  • Phone number for the caregivers
  • Neighbour’s name and phone number

Before the caregivers leave, do the following:

  • Learn the household fire escape plan; each room should have two exits and there should be a dedicated meeting place outside the home.
  • Get a home tour.
  • Test the smoke alarm and know if there is a working carbon monoxide alarm.
  • Know where to find the fire extinguishers and fire escape ladders, if applicable.
  • Know if the children you are caring for will need help escaping a fire.

Sturgeon County offices will be closed Monday, February 19 for Family Day. Offices will re-open Tuesday, February 20 at 8:30 a.m.

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