Parents want to feel secure when they entrust their children’s safety to a caretaker such as a babysitter. If a fire occurs, babysitters should be prepared to safely handle the situation. So, before you allow babysitters to watch your children, make sure they know about fire safety. Here’s what they need to know.
Hire someone who has babysitter training. Many schools and hospitals offer babysitter classes, which can be online or in the classroom. Classes teach how to care for children, how to give first aid treatment, how to do CPR, and what to do in an emergency.
Talk to your sitter about your home escape plan, which should include two ways out of every room, an outdoor meeting place, the fire department or emergency phone number, and how to unlock all doors and windows.
Ensure the babysitter knows how to react in case the smoke alarm sounds. He/she should exit the house at once with your child(ren) and get to safety. If smoke is in the way, they should take the second way. If smoke has engulfed the home, they should stay low and crawl under the smoke.
Make sure the sitter knows your address, as well as cross streets and landmarks. Give them your phone number and the number of a relative or close friend as backup.
If your sitter is allowed to cook, instruct him/her to follow the safety rules. When cooking, the babysitter should keep your child three or more feet away from the stove or microwave oven; always attend to stovetops; keep flammable items away from the stovetop; and keep pets away from the stovetop and countertops.
If you know your children will not awake when the smoke alarm sounds, let the babysitter know. Instruct him/her to help your children to escape safely.
Tell your babysitter to not use candles as these might pose a fire risk. Also, store matches and lighters out of children’s reach.
If you use space heaters, your babysitter should keep your child three or more feet away from the heaters.