Babysitters are responsible for both the children and the property of their employer. Here are some tips to help you keep yourself and your responsibilities safe:
Bring with you ...
- Smoke alarm
- Night light
- Babysitter's pamphlet
- Telephone stickers of emergency numbers
When you arrive ask for...
- emergency phone numbers such as the Poison Control Centre number
- the full address of the residence
- a phone number where your employer can be reached
- a tour of the house, and take careful note of exits;
- how door locks and windows work
- if the family has a fire escape plan and if the children have practiced it
- where the smoke alarm is, if it works, and if the children know what it sounds like.
When the parents leave, check:
- That doors and windows are locked
- The kitchen to ensure that the oven and stove are off
- The living room to ensure there are no lit cigarettes
- The bedrooms to be sure that nothing unsafe is lying in a child's reach
We recommend that babysitters do not use cooking or heating stoves.
What to do in case of:
A gas leak
- Do not turn off any lights or electrical appliances
- Get out
- Call 9-1-1 from a safe place
- Shout "fire"!
- Stay close to the floor, where there is fresh air
- Close all doors as you leave
- Call 9-1-1 from a safe place
- Do not go back into a burning building on fire
- Get the children out. Do not waste time getting them dressed, just wrap them in a blanket. Once the children are in a safe place, call 9-1-1. Do not go back into the building.
- If you are in an apartment building and the alarm sounds, check the door.
- If the door is not warm, check the corridor for smoke. If there is no smoke, proceed to the nearest exit. Take the key with you. Sound the fire alarm and use the stairs - not the elevator- to leave the building.
- If the door is warm or if there is a heavy smoke in the corridor, it may be safer to stay in the apartment. Close the door and place a wet towel at its base. Call 9-1-1 and tell them where you are even if there are already rescue workers on the scene. Go to a window and signal your location. Wait for firefighters to rescue you.
- If a fire should start in your apartment, stay low. Get the children out and close all doors behind you, especially your apartment door. Sound the fire alarm and use the stairs to get out of the building. If your clothing or the children's clothing catches on fire, smother the flames with a towel, blanket or other thick material, or stop, drop and roll out the fire.
Guide to Fire Safety:
The best way to keep fire safe is by being watchful of and careful with the children in your charge:
- Never leave children unsupervised
- Check sleeping children regularly
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach
- Do not light candles while babysitting
- Don't smoke on the job
- Keep children away from the stove, hot liquids, electric lamps, and space heaters
- Keep space heaters at least 1 meter from drapes, furniture or bedding
- Cook safely and only if you have permission
- Turn pot handles to avoid children knocking them or pulling them down
- Smother a pan fire with a lid - never use water
- Make sure you know what cooking materials can go into the home's microwave
Always test hot foods and liquids before feeding
- Fire spreads fast, don't delay!
- If clothes catch fire, STOP, DROP & ROLL on the floor to smother the flames
- Cool burns in cold water. If skin is already blistered, charred or dead white, IMMEDIATELY GET EMERGENCY HELP
- Immediately when you see flames, smell smoke, or hear the smoke alarm get everybody out of the house
- Feel the door first, if not hot, open slowly
- If there is a fire or smoke use another exit
- Crawl low under smoke; the air near the floor is safer to breathe
- Smoke kills, shut doors to stop smoke from spreading
- If you cannot escape, close the door and seal around it with cloth to prevent smoke from entering the room
- Always use the stairs and never the elevators
- Go to a meeting place that is a safe distance from the house and make sure everyone is there
- Take children to a neighbour
- Phone the emergency number from a safe place
- Give complete address; describe the situation and inform if anyone is still inside
- Stay on the phone until you are told to hang up
- Do not go back into the building for any reason
Now you know what to do, we hope you never have to use any of the emergency tips.
Good Babysitting and keep Fire Safe!