Caring for Our Childen (CFOC)

Chapter 3: Health Promotion and Protection

3.4 Health Protection in Child Care

3.4.3 Emergency Procedures

3.4.3.2: Use of Fire Extinguishers

Frequently Asked Questions/CFOC Clarifications

Reference: 3.4.3.2

Date: 10/13/2011

Topic & Location:
Chapter 3
Health Promotion
Standard 3.4.3.2: Use of Fire Extinguishers

Question:
Should all teaching staff be trained to use fire extinguishers or should the focus be on evacuating (maybe having facility staff training in use?)

Answer:
Staff 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. The staff should demonstrate the ability to locate and operate the fire extinguishers.

Content in the STANDARD was modified on 2/27/2020.


Staff should demonstrate the ability to locate and operate fire extinguishers. Facilities should develop a fire emergency action plan for responding in the event of a fire in or near the facility that includes staff responsibilities and protocols for evacuation, notifying emergency personnel, and using fire extinguishers. Staff 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 children and staff.

Caregivers/teachers within early care and education programs should have access to and be trained on the use of a fire extinguisher.

Discharge the extinguisher within its effective range using the PASS technique (pull, aim, squeeze, and sweep).1 Most fire extinguishers operate using this technique.

  • Pull the pin; this will break the seal.
  • Aim low, pointing the fire extinguisher nozzle at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle to release the extinguisher agent.
  • Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until it appears to be out.

Refer to Standard 5.2.5.2: Portable Fire Extinguishers for information on installation, inspection, maintenance, and record-keeping requirements.

RATIONALE

A fire extinguisher may be used to put out a small fire or to clear an escape path. Developing a fire emergency action 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.

TYPE OF FACILITY
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS
3.4.3.3 Response to Fire and Burns
5.2.5.2 Portable Fire Extinguishers
9.2.4.3 Disaster Planning, Training, and Communication
REFERENCES
  1. US Fire Administration. Choosing and using fire extinguishers. https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/extinguishers.html. Reviewed December 12, 2017. Accessed August 21, 2019

NOTES

Content in the STANDARD was modified on 2/27/2020.