Chapter 3: Health Promotion and Protection
3.4 Health Protection in Child Care
3.4.3 Emergency Procedures
18.104.22.168: Use of Fire Extinguishers
The staff should demonstrate the ability to locate and operate the fire extinguishers. Facilities should develop a plan for responding in the event of a fire in or near the facility that includes staff responsibilities and protocols regarding evacuation, notifying emergency personnel, and using fire extinguishers. The staff should demonstrate the ability to recognize a fire that is larger than incipient stage and should not be fought with a portable fire extinguisher.
RATIONALEA fire extinguisher may be used to put out a small fire or to clear an escape path (1). Developing a plan that includes staff use of fire extinguishers and conducting fire drills/exercises can increase preparedness and help staff better understand what to do to respond to a fire. It is just as important that staff know when not to try to fight a fire with portable fire extinguishers.
COMMENTSStaff should be trained that the first priority is to remove the children from the facility safely and quickly. Putting out the fire is secondary to the safe exit of the children and staff. However, depending upon the situation at hand and the number of available staff, the facility’s plan could identify which caregivers/teachers evacuate the children, where they will all meet outside, who should call emergency personnel, and who should locate/use the fire extinguishers. These efforts can take place simultaneously.
TYPE OF FACILITYCenter, Large Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS22.214.171.124 Disaster Planning, Training, and Communication
- American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention. 2000. Reducing the number of deaths and injuries from residential fires. Pediatrics 105:1355-57.