A checklist to help parents and caregivers consider hazards and make decisions about slumber parties and sleepovers.
"Before you permit your child to sleep over with a friend, talk to the child's parents," says Judy Comoletti, NFPA´s Division Manager for Public Education. "Depending on what you learn, it can either uncover serious fire dangers or give you peace of mind during your child's sleepover."
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 could 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?
Are they cautious with smoking materials, matches and lighters, and candles?
Ask the parents
Are there working smoke alarms on every level, inside and outside each sleeping area?
Are the alarms interconnected?
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 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?