DLA: Fire Safety Is The Best Child Care

September 12, 2019 posted by


my name is Debra Reeves I am the chief of child and youth programs at the Defense Logistics Agency you are about to see a fire safety video covering the evacuation of child development centers military and DOD civilian families rely on quality childcare as an important part of their support network parents want their children to be safe happy and healthy while in the care of others dld CDC’s have become the industry standard of excellence this video provides training and support of that standard thank you for watching DoD families trust us with their children they looked at DoD’s child development centers to provide a happy stimulating and most of all safe environment and our safety record is outstanding it is child care professionals we know that vigilance is essential a moment of carelessness or inattention a single lapse and following procedures can easily lead to injuries property damage or worse this is particularly true when it comes to fire safety in the United States more than 300 child care facilities each year learn this lesson sometimes tragically fortunately DoD has in place comprehensive policies that provide clear rules and procedures related to not only fire safety but the entire range of safety and security concerns yet having rules and procedures is useless unless everyone without exception knows and follows them all staff must know how to prevent fires and how to respond when a fire occurs this requires each Center to have in place a comprehensive Emergency Operations plan conduct regular fire safety inspections train all personnel and fire prevention and emergency operations and ensure that both staff and children know and practice emergency procedures fires occur when combustible materials come in contact with sources of heat we all know that matches paper wood cloth and flammable liquids easily catch fire yet so do plastics upholstery carpeting and electrical wiring so the first rule is to know the sources of heat in your facility and keep combustible materials away from them in a childcare environment the primary sources of heat are in the kitchen in fact almost 40% of fires and childcare centers start in kitchen areas but there are other potentially hazardous sources of heat including appliances electrical outlets and heating systems store paper products pre-approved cleaning solvents and chemicals in a secure pool place away from little hands as well as heat sources flammable materials or explosives may not be stored at any time in DoD child development centers in the kitchen keep paper and cloth towels food containers and cleaning chemicals a safe distance from the stove the toaster and the microwave be vigilant when cooking never leave cooking food unattended avoid wearing long loose leaves or baggy clothing that could come in contact with cooking surfaces and especially keep children a safe distance from all cooking appliances and out of the kitchen make sure that all appliances and electrical devices are far enough from walls to allow good ventilation and keep them free of play items in clutter prevent dust and lint which can be very flammable from building up wipe dust from the ventilation ports on televisions computers and other devices empty dryer lint traps after each load of laundry do not overload electrical outlets overloaded outlets build up heat very quickly use approved power strips and whenever practical unplug appliances and devices when they are not in use be sure that your facility’s heating unit is functioning properly and is kept clear of any combustible items keep heating ducts and vents free of obstructions and clutter do not allow waste paper and other flammable materials to accumulate keep waste paper baskets and refuse containers far away from heat sources and empty them often properly dispose of empty chemical containers where they cannot pose any hazard clearly there are many considerations related to CDC fire safety yet there’s also a resource for dealing appropriately with them your Center’s comprehensive Emergency Operations plan the plan lists specific requirements and procedures for everything from staff training safety inspections and assignment of responsibilities to evacuation plans and practices parental notification and reporting procedures it is reviewed annually and updated as situations and policies change the objective of the comprehensive Emergency Operations plan is readiness ensuring that every CDC is as safe as possible and that in any given situation everyone on staff knows exactly what to do and what is expected the plan emphasizes training so in addition to the initial training an employee receives when hired the CDC is required to conduct annual training and monthly in service training on topics such as fire safety and building evacuation the plan requires your CDC to designated writing staff members to serve as the Centers Fire Warden and safety monitor these staff members attend the installations Fire Warden and the safety hazard recognition training programs they serve as liaison between the CDC and the installations Fire Department safety office and emergency services at this time there are any questions it is their responsibility to stay current on fire safety policies and procedures to ensure that the CDC complies with those policies and procedures and to conduct monthly fire and safety inspections of the center these inspections are in addition to the installations fire department and safety office inspections and results must be documented and kept on file inspections focus not only on eliminating hazards and preventing fires but also ensuring that if a fire occurs fire safety equipment functions properly there has been a fire emergency reported in the building please evacuate the building by the nearest exit and staff and children know how to respond appropriately listen for your names Tyrel are yet each CDC has several types of fire safety equipment the most important are smoke detectors smoke detectors provide early detection of the presence of smoke a critical factor in preventing injuries saving lives and preserving property every room of the facility except rooms exempted under fire codes must have a working smoke detector smoke detectors are linked to the facility’s central fire alarm system this system has two purposes first it monitors the facility’s detection and suppression equipment such as smoke detectors and automatic fire suppression devices and alerts everyone when a fire occurs whether activated by a smoke detector or by a manual pull station the fire alarm system provides an audible and visual alert that is an unmistakable signal to evacuate the second purpose of the central fire alarm system is to automatically notify emergency response personnel that alarm activation has occurred within the facility most fires that occur in childcare facilities are small and if cotton time are easily extinguished using portable fire extinguishers the Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA requires that all employees be trained in the proper use of fire extinguishers including which types of extinguishers to use on which types of fires and how to extinguish small fires effectively and safely kitchen fires are the most common type and when cooking grease is involved a fire can be particularly dangerous and difficult to extinguish for this reason every CDC kitchen is equipped with a kitchen hood suppression system this is a built in fire extinguisher that automatically detects stovetop fires and extinguishes them with a chemical spray kitchen hood suppression systems are linked to the facility’s central fire alarm system and are tested regularly by qualified personnel all CDC’s are also equipped with sprinkler systems sprinklers are designed to extinguish or at least slow the spread of a fire in a specific area each sprinkler head is calibrated to open when the temperature around the head reaches a certain point it is extremely important that sprinklers remain unobstructed never hang anything from a sprinkler head in an emergency involving a power outage your centers emergency lighting will activate to light escape routes and exits in some cases emergency lighting is provided by separate units in others it is integrated into the facility’s normal lighting system all emergency lighting should be inspected and tested monthly basically what I’m gonna be doing today is I’m going to be going over the indoor safety checklist a staff member appointed as the safety monitor for the center will receive hazard recognition training from the safety and health office daily safety checks are a fundamental part of the Emergency Operations plan caregivers must conduct daily safety checks of all activity areas before children arrive in the morning to identify and eliminate hazards however safety checks should be done continuously all day as children play and use materials and the environment at the end of the day daily checks are also encouraged to secure activity areas safety checklists one for indoor inspections one for outdoors are excellent guides for recognizing hazards and your installation safety and Health Office will train all center staff to use them effectively these inspections are opportunities to spot hazards before they become emergencies ensure that safety equipment is unobstructed and where it is supposed to be that emergency contact information is close at hand a copy by each telephone and that emergency procedures and the center’s evacuation plan showing both primary and secondary evacuation routes are posted prominently in every room and at every exit in the facility walk these evacuation routes as part of every inspection to make sure that they are unobstructed and that doorways are clear and doors are unlocked on the inside staff are not the only people at a CDC who must understand the risk of fire and be prepared to respond properly if a fire occurs the children do too by frequently discussing good fire safety practices we are teaching them lifelong lessons that could save their lives here at school at home anywhere you’ve got a there are many resources available for teaching young children fire safety talk to your installation Safety and Health Office or Fire Department for recommendations good job if there is one fact that all fire safety professionals agree on it is that fire spreads surprisingly fast and the first minutes of a fire emergency are the most critical please do a sweep of the room and get the emergency back this makes evacuation the most important of all emergency procedures successful evacuations rely on calm order caution and speed and becoming proficient so that emergency response is second nature requires frequent realistic evacuation drills evacuation drills should be conducted monthly your installation Safety Office and Fire Department should participate in planning and conducting all practice activities know what your responsibilities are during an evacuation and use every drill to practice the basics most important stay calm if you are the person assigned to call 911 emergency make the call as soon as the alarm sounds assess your situation watching for smoke or other hazards in your escape path be prepared to use your secondary means of egress if your primary escape route is blocked or unsafe to use while evacuating watch for smoke seeping from under doors and always feel doors without windows in them for heat before opening them to ensure no fire is on the other side when you know your route is safe begin a quick orderly evacuation start by making sure all children in your care are accounted for before leaving the room shred do an aim to face recognition check and verify that the number of children present matches the number of names on your roster take with you your list of emergency telephone numbers and the emergency contact information and medical transport authorizations for the children in your care do not pause to make any phone calls telephone calls can be made once you are safely outside whatever room or area you are assigned to sweep do a thorough systematic search pay particular attention to closets bathrooms and small spaces where a child could hide or be concealed shut all doors behind you to help slow the spread of the fire once outside stay outside and make sure others do to take an accounting of those in your care again conducting a name to facecheck and verifying that the number of children matches the number of names on your roster know who to report to upon discovery of a missing child or infant notify first responders immediately all are the instructions of your centers Fire Warden and Emergency Response personnel and follow your centers procedures for contacting parents and guardians Chris when given permission by emergency responders return to your room and take a third accounting of the children in your care to ensure that everyone is present the purpose of evacuation drills and all fire safety exercises and inspections is to correct weaknesses in performance before an emergency occurs for this reason drills should be witnessed by several observers including safety and health personnel they should be well documented and the results studied afterward so that improvements can be made caregivers should educate children and practice drill procedures in their rooms regularly to keep those procedures fresh and children’s minds unannounced monthly drills should be conducted to ensure preparedness continually improving fire safety and emergency procedures is essential to CDC safety staff members can help by reporting hazards poor practices and safety incidents using the guidelines in your center’s Emergency Operations plan never hesitate to report a fire or safety concern your observation or recommendation could prevent a mishap and save lives DoD’s child development centers are committed to the children entrusted to us to their happiness their education and most of all their safety many people especially safety and health professionals within DoD and in our communities share this commitment by always remembering that safety is the best child care together we can maintain our outstanding safety record and build on our caring reputation that so many DoD families rely on

2 Comments

2 Replies to “DLA: Fire Safety Is The Best Child Care”

  1. Aodhán Mac ConUltaigh says:

    An Excellent production,well done.

  2. Regina Garcia says:

    great and informative !

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