At some time, most families entrust their children to the care of babysitters. Every babysitter should be aware of home fire safety procedures, fire escape plans, and how to call the fire department from a neighbour’s home. Even when you are not at home, your fire escape plan can still protect your family if you take time to explain the plan to your babysitter. Show the babysitter your floor plan with escape routes marked and point out the telephone number of the fire department. Important questions for households to answer before hiring babysitters are:
- Is the babysitter mature enough to be able to deal effectively with any emergency situation?
- Is the babysitter familiar with the locations of all bedrooms in which the children will be sleeping and all the exits?
- Is the babysitter familiar with the family evacuation plan and the designated meeting place outside the home? Leave emergency telephone numbers next to the phone. Include your complete address so the babysitter will have all the correct information if there is a need to notify the fire department.
- Can your babysitter contact you in the case of an emergency? Always leave the phone number where you can be reached in case of emergency. Make a duplicate copy of this information and give it to your babysitter to keep in his/her pocket. If the babysitter and children must go to a neighbour’s home to report an emergency, the babysitter will have this important information.
- Does the babysitter understand that children should never be left alone for any reason?
- Stress there is to be no smoking or candles lit while on the job.
- Explain that if there is a fire, the babysitter should get the children out of the home and call the fire department from a neighbour’s home. If it seems too dangerous to rescue the children, the babysitter should go straight to a neighbour’s and call the fire department. Let the fire department know that the children are still inside the home and exactly where they are.
Complete a Babysitter Fire Safety Checklist so that you can provide important information to your babysitter. Fire safety is an important part of your babysitter’s job!