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Prevent fires

It’s important for you to learn about fire safety because fires happen more often than you think. In 2006, the Fire Department responded to over 2,000 fire-related incidents. Follow the tips below to reduce the chance of fire in your home or when babysitting.

Fire safety in your home

To reduce the chance of a fire in your home, follow these simple fire safety practices:
  • Never touch matches or lighters
    • Matches and lighters are tools for adults - not toys for children
    • If you see matches or lighters, either: - tell an adult - give the matches or lighter to an adult
    • Tell an adult if you see smoke from an ashtray when no one is around
  • Be careful when cooking
    • Don’t use the stove unless an adult is around; instead use the microwave or make sandwiches and other food items that don’t require cooking
    • Do not place tinfoil or put utensils like metal knives or forks into the microwave
    • Don’t play near the stove when an adult is cooking
  • Never pull on the cord to unplug an appliance; grasp the plug-in instead
  • Tell your mom or dad if an appliance smells funny when you turn it on or it doesn't work properly.
  • Unplug appliances when not in use.
  • Don't hide electrical cords under a rug or have the cord laying across where you normally walk.

Fire safety for babysitters

When you are babysitting, keep the following safety tips in mind:

  • Discuss the family’s fire escape plan before the parents leave.
  • Have the parents show you the plan and inform you of the meeting place so you don’t confuse the children.
  • Ensure you have the parent’s phone number and location of where they are going. Keep this in your pocket.
  • Close the bedroom door once you have put a child to bed.

You have the right to refuse babysitting if the home does not have working smoke alarms. It would be a heartbreaking tragedy if there was a fire and you were unaware because of smoke alarms that didn’t work.

If you smell smoke, hear a smoke alarm or see flames while babysitting, remember the rule...get out and stay out!

  • Gather the children. If smoke or fire blocks your path to one of the children, get the rest of the children out of the house and tell the Fire Department there is a child trapped in the house when you call 9-1-1.
  • Don’t stop to dress the children or get their shoes.
  • Get yourself and the children out of the house by guiding them out in front of you.
  • Take the children to a neighbour’s house and call the Fire Department or 9-1-1 from there.
  • Call the parents.
  • Do not go back inside the home for any reason.
If a child’s clothing catches fire do not let the child run as this gives the fire air.  You should follow the stop-drop-roll:
  • Stop the child by tripping or grabbing him/her if necessary.
  • Drop the child to the ground.
  • Roll the child on the ground to smother the fire. If a blanket or heavy coat is handy, wrap it around the child, pulling it down around the shoulders to smother the flames and protect the child’s face.
When flames are extinguished, call 9-1-1 immediately.