Child Fire Safety for Your Child Care Home
Every child care provider and parents need to practice child fire safety in their home.
Here is why- Fire kills more than 600 children ages 14 and under each year and injures approximately 47,000 other children!
Whether you are a child care provider (licensed or not), a parent or grandparent, or someone who provides care for children in a home you should follow these simple steps for child fire safety:
- Never leave food cooking unattended on a stove top.
- Keep all lit candles out of reach from children, better yet- don't use with children around!
- Keep cooking areas free of things that are flammable (like potholders, papers, cookbooks, towels, etc.)
- Avoid wearing clothes with long, loose-fitting sleeves while you are cooking on the stove.
- Never use portable space heaters near flammable materials (curtains). I would suggest a safety barrier that surrounds any heating stove or heating element, or portable heaters.
- Keep all combustible materials away from your furnace, your stove, gas dryer, or water heater.
- Keep all matches and lighters out of reach of children. Store them up high, preferably in a locked cabinet.
- Install smoke alarms on every floor of the home, including the basement, and particularly in or near rooms where children are regularly and where the children/people sleep.
- Use long-life smoke alarms with lithium-powered batteries and hush buttons, which allow persons to stop false alarms quickly. If long-life alarms are not available, use regular alarms, and replace the batteries annually. I change mine every daylight savings time.
- Have a 2A 10BC rated fire extinguisher in a visible and quickly accessible place on each child-occupied floor.
- Practice fire drills monthly and keep documentation of the date, evacuation time, and number of children (we are required to do so by the state).
- Put pictures of fire on your exits (windows too!) Show and explain to your children what they mean- "This fire picture means that this is the door we go out if there is a fire".
- Test all smoke alarms every month to ensure they work properly. Put a reminder on your calendar if you have trouble remembering.
- Have an emergency and disaster plan for child fire safety written and posted by your primary and secondary exits.
- Parents! Devise a family fire escape plan and practice it every 6 months. In your plan, describe at least two different ways each family member can escape every room, and designate a safe place in front of your home for family members to meet after escaping a fire.
For more on safety in your home and your Child Care please read about
Child Safety in the Home.
Practicing child fire safety only takes a few minutes for the ultimate safety in your home. Do it for the protection of you, your family, and the children you care for.
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