Skip to main content

Kidde Helps Canadian Parents Prepare Children to Stay Home Alone Safely After School

VAUGHAN, Ontario -

Survey finds 52% of parents who have children ages 10-17 say their kids will be staying home alone before or after school

After months of working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some parents across Canada are preparing to return to the office. The transition back to work occurs as students head back to school, and children may find themselves home alone or unsupervised for the first time before/after school or for longer stretches of time. According to a new survey commissioned by Kidde, leader of state-of-the-art smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detection, and conducted online by The Harris Poll:

  • 52% of parents with children ages 10-17 plan to have children staying home alone before or after school.

  • Among those, 8% of parents with children ages 10-17 say it will be their child's first time ever staying home alone.

As schools welcome students back, it's an ideal time for parents to brush up on fire and CO safety education with their families. Kidde is a part of Carrier Global Corporation (NYSE: CARR), the leading global provider of healthy, safe, sustainable and intelligent building and cold chain solutions.

As the leader in fire safety products and part of Carrier's Healthy Homes program, Kidde is sharing important information, tips and resources to help parents keep their children fire and CO safe while home alone or unsupervised after school. While many fires may be the result of curious children playing, flames may be sparked by the use of cooking appliances, candles, fireworks or other equipment. If a fire starts or a CO alarm goes off, it is important to teach children how to appropriately react and how to get help. In fact, The Harris Poll showed that 27% of parents with children ages 10-17 have not discussed fire safety at home with their children.

"Imagine how scary it might be for a child who is home alone when a fire starts or when a CO alarm goes off," said Stephanie Berzinski, Fire Safety Educator for Kidde. "The majority of adults know what to do in the case of an emergency, but children may not know to get outside and stay outside. It's never too early to teach children about fire and CO safety in the home and how to appropriately and confidently respond."

To help keep children safe from the dangers of home fires during this back-to-school season, Kidde compiled a list of resources and activities for parents to educate their children in a fun, relatable way. These resources are available to view and download at In addition, Kidde shares the following 7 easy tips to help keep your family safe from home fires or carbon monoxide leaks:

  1. Fire and CO Safety Devices: Homes should have one smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home including basements. Install CO alarms outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home and in other locations as required. Keep one general purpose fire extinguisher, such as 2-A:10-B:C rated, on every floor and in critical areas like the kitchen, garage and utility rooms.

  2. Conduct a Match and Lighter Roundup: Minimize the risk of a home fire by keeping matches and lighters out of reach and teach children to stay away from fire sources like lit candles and stoves.

  3. Skip Snacks that Require Cooking: Prep food and after school meals that DO NOT require the use of appliances like toasters or stovetops so that your child has no reason to operate cooking equipment.

  4. Fire Escape Planning: Children should know how to escape the home in case of an emergency. When escape planning, remember the twos: Always know 2 ways out of every room, practice 2 times per year and 2 times of the day - daytime and nighttime.

  5. Get Outside, Stay Outside: Remember, if the smoke or CO alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Children, especially those playing with "off-limits" appliances, may fear their parents' reactions, and/or may hide under beds or in closets, believing this will protect them from fires. Kidde encourages parents to teach children that getting outside is the priority in case of a fire.

  6. Smoke Alarm Maintenance: In addition to testing alarms once each week, schedule routine cleaning and maintenance of every smoke alarm according to manufacturer instructions. Every smoke alarm must be replaced at least every 10 years; be sure to check alarm installation dates.

  7. CO Alarm Maintenance: Carbon monoxide alarms must be replaced every seven to 10 years, guidance varies depending on the specific model and manufacturer, as they may not detect the presence of CO after alarms reach maximum age. Newer model CO alarms may feature a "replacement signal" or end-of-life notification, two beeps every 30-60 seconds. It's important to know how to identify the alarm sounds, test alarms weekly, replace batteries where applicable and check alarms' age to ensure equipment is working properly. For more information, please see your manufacturer's user guide and instructions.

For more fire safety tips for the whole family, including pets, visit

About Kidde

Kidde, a leading manufacturer of residential smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers, and safety accessories, has been keeping the world a safer place for over 100 years. Kidde produced the first integrated smoke detection system a century ago and continues its legacy today by delivering advanced fire-safety technology. Kidde is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, a leading global provider of innovative HVAC, refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. For more information, visit or follow @KiddeCanada, and on Facebook, and Instagram.

Survey Methodology:

This survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Kidde from August 17-20 among 1,012 adults ages 18 and older in Canada, among whom 150 are parents of children ages 10-17. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Stephanie Berzinski at [email protected].