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Advice for parents, child carers and babysitters

This guidance has been put together for parents and anyone looking after children, including childminders.

Reducing risks to children

The best way to teach children about fire safety is by example. Let your children see you being sensible and careful about cooking, candles and other potential risks.

Electrics and heaters

The kitchen

Matches, lighters and candles

What your children should know

You will want to make sure that children are always safe. This includes teaching them how to prevent fire and what to do if there is one.

You will probably need to talk about fire safety with children more than once. This is to make sure that they have remembered and understood what you have taught them.

As a general rule, younger children – around five and below – should be given clear instructions about what they should and shouldn’t do. With older children, it’s better to explain why.

It’s important that they know how to prevent fire:

Tell them:

Share these safety messages with your children so they know what to do in the event of a fire:

Have an escape plan

Young children will enjoy the story of Frances the Firefly, which helps strengthen the message about not playing with matches.

Information for childminders

If you are a childminder and look after children in your home, you must comply with the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This requires that you carry out a fire risk assessment of your home, and record and act on any significant findings. You should review your fire risk assessment if anything changes, such as looking after younger children.

You can contact the Fire and Rescue Service for advice but we will not be able to come and do your fire risk assessment for you. You should not need to employ a specialist to do your fire risk assessment unless your house is very large and complex. Click here for information on completing fire risk assessments.

The Fire Kills campaign has produced a leaflet on Fire Safety for Parents and Child Carers.

Babysitters

Before you babysit for the first time at someone’s home, you should ensure that you have the following information:

Open fires

If you’re in a property with an open fire that has been lit, you should:

Smoking

If you have been given permission to smoke in the property, you should:

Cooking

If there’s a fire…

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