If you run a childcare centre, you'll need to do everything in your power to keep the children protected in the event of any emergency, including a fire. As the childcare centre owner, you are responsible for safety of children. Plotting an effective fire evacuation plan and making sure everyone involved in the centre is properly prepared demonstrates how seriously you take your job, so follow these strategies.
Draw A Layout Of The Childcare Centre
Your first task should be to draw a layout of your childcare centre so that all employees are well aware of clearly detailed emergency exits during a fire. The layout will help make sure employees know how to get out using the closest exits and stairways based on the location of the fire inside. You should also make sure that this layout is placed in every room inside the childcare centre so that employees can refer to it easily when a fire emergency occurs.
Plan Instances When Fire Equipment May Be Used
Easily accessible fire equipment may be used to put out small fires, but they cannot necessarily put out bigger fires. Your fire evacuation plan should dictate these instances so that employees know what to do in all situations. Make sure that employees are aware that they should be at least 2 metres away from the fire when attempting to extinguish it. Click for more info about fire extinguishers and when and how they should be used.
Keep Children Low When Evacuating
Your fire evacuation plan should include the fact that employees need to keep kids bent low over the ground when attempting to evacuate the room. This is because smoke tends to move upwards, which could cause the kids to suffocate from intense smoke consumption. This is a fact that can easily be ignored during a fire emergency, so consider organising periodic fire evacuation drills. This will allow employees and kids to practice getting out while staying low.
Ensure Regular Fire Extinguisher Servicing
Your childcare centre evacuation plan must include regular fire equipment maintenance for efficient performance. Fire extinguishers should be regularly tested and tagged to ensure they comply with Australian regulations. All maintenance sessions should be tagged so that the last date of servicing is properly recorded for future reference. According to Fire Protection Association Australia, the national fire safety body in the country, your extinguisher should be serviced in compliance with AS 1851 guidelines, which requires pressure testing after five years. This applies to businesses and residences, which makes it relevant to your childcare centre.
Running a childcare centre is a huge responsibility. Plotting fire evacuation strategies in advance will ensure that you keep the kids as safe as possible when a dangerous fire occurs.