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Getting Serious About Fire Safety

Fires have a significant impact on children, parents and child care providers. On average, every day 293 children are injured and at least one child dies from fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association’s latest report (September 2017), between 2011-2015 there was an average of 560 fires in child care properties each year. On average these fires account for $4 million dollars in property damage.

Closeup image of an adorable preschool "Fire Chief" in his helmet and yellow coat. On a white background.How and When Do Fires Occur in Child Care Programs?

An examination of the fires that occurred between 2011-2015 NFPA found that 69% of fires involved cooking equipment.

Almost half (48%) of fires occurred between the hours of 6am and noon.

Did You Know?

Fire Safety Week occurs each year in October. It reminds of of the importance of preventing fires and being prepared. Fire Safety Week occurs each year on and around October 8th and 9th. This is not an accident, it was on October 8, 1871 when the Great Chicago Fire began, with most of the damage occurring on October 9, 1871. More than 100,000 people were left homeless after the blaze.

How Child Care Programs Can Prepare/Prevent Fires

  1. Have a plan
  2. Communicate the plan – make sure staff, parents and children know the plan.
  3. Practice the plan – conduct a fire drill each month, make it realistic, use the actual fire alarm, keep a record of your drills.
  4. Check your smoke alarms – at a minimum, you should have one on each floor. Be sure you test them regularly.
  5. Check your fire extinguishers – know where they are, check to make sure they have pressure and are not expired.
  6. Keep exits clear – do not block exits with furniture, clutter, etc.
  7. Check your furnace room – this is not a place for storage. Keep clutter away from the furnace.

Check with your local licensing authority as to their specific requirements around fire safety.

Fire Safety Resources

Child Care Aware of America

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