What Your Child Needs to Know About Fire Extinguishers Before His or Her First Job Childminding Job

4 February 2016
 Categories: Environmental, Blog


Your child is going to his or her first childminding job. He or she knows how to change diapers and amuse children, but you are worried about emergency situations. To deal with them, your child needs a range of skills including the basics on how to use a fire extinguisher. Before your child starts working as a childminder, make sure he or she knows these key facts about fire extinguishers:

1. There are different types of fire extinguishers.

Many novices to the world of fire extinguishers think that there is only one kind, but there are actually five different classes of fire extinguishers, and they each work for different types of fires.

Class A extinguishers work for combustible materials (paper, wood, etc), Class B works for combustible liquids (petrol, oil, etc), and Class C works for electrical equipment and wiring. Finally, Class D works for chemical-based fires and Class C works for cooking oil fires in cooking appliances.

In most cases, your child just need to know about the first three classes, and he or she needs to know where to find this info on the fire extinguisher itself -- it's typically printed on the label near the bottom corner. In some cases, fire extinguishers are marked with A, B and C because they fall into all three categories.

2. Water is not the only substitute for a fire extinguisher.

In some cases, your child may be childminding at a home where there are no fire extinguishers. In those cases, your child should know how to find substitutes for fire extinguishers. Water works for putting out fires on textiles or woods, but if your child has to deal with a kitchen fire, that is typically oil based, and your child should respond by pouring baking soda over it.

In some cases, rather than pouring water or chemicals on a fire, it should be smothered. In particular, if the child your child is taking care of catches on fire, your child should help them stop, drop, roll and smother the fire.

3. The right spraying technique puts out fires faster. 

If your child ever needs to use a fire extinguisher, he or she will be more successful if he or she knows how to spray it effectively. To put out a fire, your child should direct the fire extinguisher toward the base of the fire. Then, he or she should move the fire extinguisher back and forth until the fire goes out. He or she should not shoot the extinguisher through the top or middle of the flames -- it won't have an effect, and it may waste the solution in the fire extinguisher.

For more tips on how to train your child to use a fire extinguisher before his or her first child minding job, talk with a fire extinguisher expert.