Over 1.3 million fires were reported in the United States last year. 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. Each year approximately 325 fires occur in child care centers. As we focus on fire prevention in October, we begin with one simple question – are you prepared?
In 2015, fires caused 3,280 deaths, nearly 16,000 injuries and over $14 billion in property damage. More than half of child fire deaths are children age 4 or younger, stressing the importance of child care providers and parents to be prepared.
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. This year, Fire Prevention Week is October 9 -15.
How Child Care Programs Can Prepare/Prevent Fires
- Have a plan
- Communicate the plan – make sure staff, parents and children know the plan.
- Practice the plan – conduct a fire drill each month, make it realistic, use the actual fire alarm, keep a record of your drills.
- Check your smoke alarms – at a minimum, you should have one on each floor. Be sure you test them regularly.
- Check your fire extinguishers – know where they are, check to make sure they have pressure and are not expired.
- Keep exits clear – do not block exits with furniture, clutter, etc.
- 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
- Videos: Children and Fire Safety: Video 1 Video 2
- Sesame Street Fire Safety Color and Learn for Children
- Home Fire Safety Tips for New Parents (English) (Spanish)
- Home Fire Safety Tips for Caregivers (English) (Spanish)
- Fire Safety Checklist for Caregivers of babies and toddlers (English) (Spanish)
- Child Care Providers can order the Sesame Street Fire Safety Program Kit
- On October 15, 2016 participate in Home Fire Drill Day
- Follow these Fire Safety Tips from Safe Kids Worldwide
- Fire Safety Made Fun by Fire Safe Kids
- Fire Escape Plans and Safety for Kids with Sparky the Fire Dog
- City and County of Denver, Colorado – Fire Safety in Child Care Template/Checklist
- ADT: Tips for Child Safety (Fire Safety & Winter Safety)
- ADT: Fire Safety Checklist