When planning to open a day care facility, fire safety is a major concern. You are ultimately responsible for the safety of every individual who enters your premises: staff, children, parents, and visitors. It’s therefore essential that you have in place a fire safety policy which, in conjunction with excellent safety features throughout your premises, means that you are doing everything to ensure fire safety in your day care. Your job is to take steps necessary to minimize fire risk and should a fire occur you will have procedures in place to evacuate staff and children.
What steps are you taking to avoid the risk of fire at your day care? Your safety program should detail and address safe storage of chemicals and liquids, safe storage of gas cooking items (outdoor grills), and making sure that the propane tank can’t be tampered with. It might be wise to remove the tank from the unit to prevent it from being accidentally turned on by children if stored outside in the backyard where they are playing.
Does the person you leave in charge while you’re gone know what to do? Ongoing staff training is also a vital element of your program so staff knows what to do in the event of an emergency and can act calmly and quickly. This training and review of your safety program only takes a few minutes and you should have regular refreshers annually with them, and document that you have spoken with them, time, date, and signature would be appropriate ways to keep documentation for this. Your drills should include the name of the daycare, person conducting the drill, time, who is calling the fire department, and how many children had participated. Finally the report should highlight any areas that caused concerns or needs improvement.
Doing just the following items listed above will ultimately reduce some of the potential fire risk within your day care.