Is the Daycare Center Ready for a Fire?

Daycare owners and employees work on a daily basis to keep children safe, to make sure they’re happy, healthy and out of harm’s way. Making sure that the daycare center is ready for a fire is a very important way to ensure that the children and adults are safe. Greater safety is achieved by reducing the risk of a fire and ensuring that everyone is instructed on what to do if a fire should happen. Fire preparation is an extremely important aspect of owning and operating a daycare center.

Nevada Fire Safety Regulations

According to Chapter 392 of Nevada legislature (NRS 392.450), all schools and daycares must provide drills each month to instruct children on the appropriate procedures to be followed in the event of a fire or other emergency. For daycare centers, it is reasonable to conclude that this law is regarding children who are old enough to understand how to follow an escape route. The escape route should be approved by the State Fire Marshall or the chief of the fire department in the Nevada city or town. It’s extremely important that children understand how to get out of the building if a fire should occur and the proper procedures for dealing with a potential fire.

Preventing Fires in Your Daycare Center

Keeping matches, lighters and flammable materials away from children is common sense, but there are some other things that you can do to prevent fires in your daycare center which may not be as obvious. No doors, windows, hallways or other exits should be blocked with anything because this prevents a clear escape route. Make sure curtains, blankets and other flammable materials are kept away from heaters, furnaces, fireplaces, radiators and any other heat source. Have the electrical wires and systems checked regularly to ensure safe operation. Ensure that all smoke detectors are working and have fresh batteries. Children should be taught how to call 9-1-1 as well.

Practice Fire Drills Regularly

Go over the escape route with older children until they know exactly what to do in the event of a fire. You should agree on a “safe place” outside to meet once you have all escaped the building. Adults should be aware of how to get out of the building and each adult should be assigned specific children or specific rooms to evacuate in the case of an emergency. Teach children how to “stop, drop, and roll” in case their clothing catches fire. They should also be taught how to stay low in smoky rooms and how to feel doorknobs for heat to determine whether fire is on the other side. Children should be familiar with firemen and the way they look in masks and suits, as some children become afraid and run from firemen during an attempted rescue.

Easy Ways to Teach Children about Fire Safety

Sometimes it’s easier to teach children about serious topics with fun educational props. Checking out books from the local library about fire safety and fire preparation can help ensure that the daycare center children are informed. Watching videos and cartoons about fire safety is also a great idea. In some towns, it is possible to speak with the local fire department and schedule a “meet and greet” so the daycare children become familiar with firemen, fire trucks and other tools used to fight fires. Singing rhyming songs about fire safety is also an easy way to help children memorize fire safety rules. Each child should be given a clear map of the fire escape route that they can understand, in addition to going over the route in drills.

Angela Walker has a passion for children, and her and her staff at Next Generation Children’s Center [] in Reno, NV are dedicated to helping foster your child’s early childhood development.

To see what else Angela is writing about visit Angela’s Blog [].

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