A checklist to help parents and caregivers consider hazards and make decisions about slumber parties and sleepovers.

BEFORE YOU SAY “YES”

  • How well do you know the home?
  • Is the home clean? Does it appear to be structurally sound?
  • Is the home in a safe area?
  • If the home has security bars on doors and windows, do you know for certain that the bars have quick release devices inside, so your child can get out in an emergency?
  • Is your child comfortable in the home and with all the occupants?
  • Are you comfortable leaving your child in the home overnight?
  • How well do you know the parent(s)?
  • Are they mature, responsible and conscientious?
  • Will they supervise the children throughout the stay?
  • Will they remain sober and attentive?
  • Are they cautious with smoking materials, matches and lighters, and candles?

ASK THE PARENTS

  • Are there working smoke alarms on every level, throughout their home?
  • Do they have a well-rehearsed fire escape plan that includes two ways out and a meeting place outside?
  • Where will your child be sleeping? Is there a smoke alarm in or near the room? Are there two escape routes from the room?
  • Will the parents walk through their escape plan with your child?
  • Do the parents prohibit bedroom candle use by children?

TELL THE PARENTS…

  • About your home escape plan and the fire protection equipment you have in your home.
  • That you will walk their child through your plan when invited to stay overnight in your home.

DOES YOUR CHILD…

  • Recognize and awaken to the sound of the smoke alarm? Important: If not, tell the sleepover parents that your child does not wake up to the smoke alarm and that someone will have to wake them in an emergency.
  • Know what to do when the smoke alarm sounds?
  • Know that he or she cannot hide from fire and that the top priority is to get out and stay out until firefighters say it is safe to go back inside?
  • Know the fire department emergency number?
  • Feel empowered to ask about the friends’ escape plan?
  • Feel empowered to tell you if there is a dangerous practice or situation at the friends’ home?