As a babysitter, you have a great responsibility – you are responsible for the safety of the children you sit with and for the property of your employer. To help discharge this responsibility, we offer the following suggestions:
Prevention Before Fire Starts
- When you arrive at your employer’s residence, ask for the following information…
- Fire Department Phone Number
- Police Department Phone Number
- Ambulance Dispatch Phone Number
- Poison Control Centre Phone Number
- The Full Address of the Residence
- A Phone number where your employer can be reached
- Ask for a walk around the house…
- Familiarize yourself with the house that you are minding in… (how door locks work etc)…
- Ask if they have a fire escape plan … Do the children know it? … Have they practiced the plan? … Where is the meeting place? … (see “Fire Escape Planning”)
- Where are the exits from the house? (know at least two ways out)…
- Find out where the smoke alarm is. Check to see that it is operational. Ask if the children know what it sounds like..
- After the parents leave, walk around with the children. Check the Kitchen, to ensure that the stove is turned off etc… Check the Living Room, to ensure that there are no lit cigarettes left behind etc… Check the Bedrooms to be sure that nothing unsafe was forgotten…
- The Ottawa Fire Department recommends that babysitter’s do not use cooking stoves or heating stoves…
- Bring your babysitting kit with you … (Smoke alarm, flash light, night light, babysitter’s pamphlet, telephone stickers for emergency numbers).
What to do if a Fire Occurs!
- Your first responsibility in case of a fire is to get the children out. Never place yourself or others in jeopardy by attempting to extinguish a fire. Once the children are in a safe place, call the Fire Department. Once you are out do not re-enter the building! Do not waste time getting the children dressed, wrap them up in a blanket.
- If you smell or see smoke, or hear the smoke alarm, sound a warning. SHOUT FIRE!
- Stay close to the floor, where there is fresh air.
- Close all doors behind you. Call the Fire Department from a safe place. Never go back into a burning building.
- If you smell gas, get out, do not turn off any lights or electrical appliances. Call the Fire Department from a place of safety.
- If you are babysitting in an apartment building and the alarm sounds … check the door for heat, If it is not warm … check the corridor for smoke. If there is no smoke … proceed to the nearest exit. Sound the fire alarm … use the stairs to exit the building … NEVER use the elevator … take your apartment key with you.
- If the door is warm or if there is there is heavy smoke in the corridor, it may be safer to remain in your apartment … Close the door and place a wet towel at the base of the door. Call the Fire Department and tell them where you are even if they are already on the scene. Go near a window and signal your location. Wait for the Fire Department to rescue you.
- If a fire should start in your apartment, stay low, get the kids out, close all doors behind you especially your apartment door. Sound the Fire Alarm, leave the building using the stairs.
- If your clothing or the clothing of the children should catch on fire, smother the flames with a towel, blanket or other thick material, OR stop, drop and roll, to smother the fire.
Provided through cooperation from the Ottawa Fire Department.