Au pairs learnt about fire safety with our first responders

On February 9, 2020 we held our monthly au pair meeting at station 16 in Edmonds. Au pairs for the first time visited an American fire station and learnt about a job of our first responders. Here is a helpful review:


  • Together with your host parents, test smoke alarms regularly. Replace the batteries in smoke alarms once a year. Make sure that there is an alarm on every level and in every sleeping area of the house.
  • Together with your host parents, plan and practice several fire escape routes from each room of the home and identify an outside meeting place. Practicing an escape plan may help kids who become frightened and confused in a fire to escape to safety.
  • Ask your host parents to consider purchasing escape ladders for bedrooms on the second or third floor. Learn how to use them and store them near the window.
  • Keep matches, gasoline, lighters and all other flammable materials locked away and out of reach.
  • Teach kids never to play with matches and lighters and to tell an adult if they find them.
  • Teach kids that only adults should light candles, a campfire or a barbecue.
  • Teach kids what firefighters look like so they will not be scared in the case of a fire.
  • Never leave cooking food unattended.
  • Keep clothing, furniture, paper and other flammable materials away from a fireplace, heater or radiator.
  • Avoid plugging several appliance cords into the same electrical socket.


  • Together with your host parents, make sure that CO alarms are installed in every sleeping area and on the ceiling at least 15 feet from fuel-burning appliances. Check that the alarms are in working condition.
  • When using a fireplace or wood-burning stove, open the flue for adequate ventilation. When using a space heater, make sure it is vented properly. Never allow a child to sleep in a room with a space heater.
  • Never use barbecue grills indoors.
  • Do not leave a vehicle running in a garage, even with the door open.
  • List poison control center and emergency medical service numbers near each phone.


1. If you are woken up by the sound of your smoke alarm or by the sound or smell of what you think is a fire:

  • Stay calm. Wake all the members of your family.
  • Do not stop to collect anything. Fire is unpredictable. NEVER take chances.
  • Make your way out together, through the nearest exit.
  • Do not open any doors other than the ones you need to escape through.
  • If a door feels hot DO NOT open it.
  • When everyone is safely outside call the Fire Department from a public telephone or a neighbor’s house.
  • DO NOT GO BACK TO THE HOUSE for any reason until the Fire Department tells you it is safe to return.
  1. Some fires generate a lot of smoke. This can kill you. If you have to go through a smoke-filled hallway or room, get down on your hands and knees and crawl under it. If you see smoke or fire in your first escape route, use your second way out. If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke to your exit. If you are trapped in a room by smoke or fire, you need to try to stop the smoke from getting into the room:
  • Close the door.
  • Block any gaps into the room. Use towels, blankets or spare clothes.
  • If there is a telephone in the room dial 911.
  • If there is no telephone, go to the window and shout for help.
  • Once you know you have been heard and help is on the way, stay near to the floor by the window. Smoke and heat rise so you are safer near to the ground.
  • If your windows are double glazed, use a heavy object and hit the window in a bottom corner. To make any jagged edges safer, use a towel or blanket.
  1. Try to teach your host children about what to do in a fire and practice with them:
  • Stay low to the floor and crawl to the nearest exit in the case of a fire.
  • Touch doors before opening them. If the door is warm, it could mean there is a fire on the other side.
  • Call for help from a neighbor’s home, not from inside a burning building. No one should re-enter a burning building.
  • If clothing catches on fire STOP, DROP and ROLL.

Exposure to CO can be deadly because carbon monoxide impairs the body’s ability to use oxygen. Symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu, only without a fever and may include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • shortness of breath.

Eventually, carbon monoxide poisoning can progress to loss of consciousness, brain damage and death. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be so mild; however, that many people may not notice the initial signs. Since exposure can cause drowsiness, people can be overcome while sleeping.

If you or your host children experience any of the symptoms listed above:

  • Get fresh air immediately.
  • Call 911.
  • Open windows and doors, turn off combustion appliances and contact the fire/police department


Monday, 10 February 2020 12:57 PM


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