Is the daycare ready for a fire?

Day care owners and employees work daily to keep children safe, to make sure they are happy, healthy and safe. Making sure the daycare is ready for a fire is a very important way to ensure that children and adults are safe. Increased safety is achieved by reducing the risk of fire and by making sure everyone is informed about what to do in the event of a fire. Fire preparedness is an extremely important aspect of owning and operating a daycare.

Nevada Fire Safety Regulations

In accordance with Chapter 392 of the Nevada Legislature (NRS 392.450), all schools and day care centers are required to provide drills each month to instruct children on the proper procedures to follow in the event of a fire or other emergency. For day care centers, it is reasonable to conclude that this law refers to children who are old enough to understand how to follow an escape route. The escape route must be approved by the State Fire Marshal or the Nevada city or town fire department chief. It is important for children to understand how to exit the building in the event of a fire and the proper procedures for dealing with a potential fire.

Fire prevention in your nursery

Keeping matches, lighters, and flammable materials out of the reach of children is common sense, but there are some other things you can do to prevent fires in your daycare that may not be so obvious. Do not block doors, windows, hallways or other exits with anything because this prevents a clear escape route. Make sure curtains, blankets, and other flammable materials are kept away from heaters, stoves, fireplaces, radiators, and any other sources of heat. Have electrical cables and systems checked regularly to ensure safe operation. Make sure all smoke detectors are working and have fresh batteries. Children should also be taught how to call 9-1-1.

Practice fire drills regularly

Review the escape route with older children until they know exactly what to do in the event of a fire. They should agree to a “safe place” outside to meet once they have escaped the building. Adults must know how to exit the building and each adult must be assigned specific children or specific rooms to evacuate in the event of an emergency. Teach children how to “stop, drop, and roll” in case their clothing catches fire. They should also be taught how to stoop in smoke-filled rooms and how to feel the heat from doorknobs to determine if the fire is on the other side. Children should be familiar with firefighters and their appearance in masks and suits, as some children get scared and run away from firefighters during a rescue attempt.

Easy Ways to Teach Kids About Fire Safety

Sometimes it’s easier to teach kids about serious topics with fun educational accessories. Checking out books from your local library on fire safety and fire preparedness can help ensure that daycare 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” to familiarize the children in the nursery with firefighters, 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 fire escape route map that they can understand, in addition to reviewing the route in drills.