A child care centre that prepares a fire safety evacuation plan is likely to respond more quickly to emergencies and end up safe. The importance of planning lies in the ability to manage time while evacuating to safety in any given scenario. Establishing an emergency management plan is a matter of identifying risks and exit routes, delegating tasks to specific people, and executing them as planned.
In this stage, fire evacuation procedures in child care centres adopt a more standardised method fit for a younger generation.
It is highly necessary to keep track of the basic information to use as official reports and data for determining the next move. Make use of the 4 W’s for gathering data.
Who: Prepare a list of everyone in the building. While it is a standard habit to check attendance in day care centres, you will likely use your students list and staff attendance to determine the individuals who might be involved in a fire incident.
What: The emergency can be anything from mild to major fire incident, which is an important aspect of the report. When giving facts, know what the nature of the emergency is and how dangerous it is.
When: The occurrence of the fire and its exact time is a significant factor in establishing a complete report.
Where: Of course, the location should be basic information in a fire incident.
Fire Evacuation Procedures
When fire occurs, there is no delaying, pausing or stopping it. What you should keep in mind is how you should respond to it. In the event of fire, be quick in determining the first action down to the last one.
Raise the Alarm
Whoever is the first person to witness the fire is immediately the one responsible in raising the alarm. It is also a standard practice to notify the person in charge or the supervisor in order to phone 000 and inform the fire brigade of the child care centre name and address.
Evacuate the Building
All educators and staff are responsible for gathering the children and assisting them to the assembly point. While doing so, windows and doors are closed to prevent the fire from spreading.
Once everyone is gathered in the evacuation area, check attendance rolls to make sure no one is left behind. If someone is missing, immediately inform the supervisor and emergency services. Do not attempt to go back if the fire has risen to a dangerous level.
Supervise the Children
The assembly area is where teachers and supervisors can manage any effects on the children like anxiety, trauma, and whatnot. It is best to always prepare an evacuation kit containing their toys, some nappies, water, and other necessities to ease tension.
While managing the children, parents have to be contacted to inform them of the situation so that they can fetch their children when needed. Also, make sure to prepare a log out list for kids who are collected.
Administer First Aid
Let first aid personnel take charge on checking the health status of the staff and children to record minor injuries and call out immediate health assistance for major ones.
Settle and Wait for Further Instructions
Once all emergency respondents are called and the fire brigade arrives at the premises, inform them on the room locations where missing persons are likely situated and the best access to those rooms. Wait for any reports of damages and status to determine whether it is safe to go back and when it is okay to do so.
From the beginning of the fire to the evacuation process, you never know who is going to be confronted by the fire. That is why fire extinguisher training is very important. It can highly increase your chances of eliminating the fire especially when it is controllable. First and foremost, only fight the fire if you are trained and if it is safe to do so. If so, don’t hesitate to use a nearby extinguisher. When you have started putting off the fire but it does not suppress, evacuate the building at once. It is best to leave it behind than risk your life on uncertain circumstances.
Also, here are signs to know when not to attempt suppressing the fire such as:
- If you do not know what is burning
- The fire is quickly spreading
- If there is no accessible exit door (preferably located at your back)
- The smoke is making it hard for you to breathe
- The available fire safety equipment is not sufficient enough to suppress the fire
It is best for building managers and responsible persons to supply complete fire safety equipment and have them undergo regular maintenance as per the Australian Standard, AS 1851.1. The effects of neglected equipment can result to the aforementioned lack of available or working equipment.
Accidents such as fire, sounds frightening but it shouldn’t remain that way without much preparation for evacuation. If you need help in the planning process especially in securing complete fire safety equipment, phone us and we’ll get back to you soon.