Fire and Explosions

Fires and explosions are an ever present danger. They may originate within the building or threaten from without. A small fire in a rural wooded area or a built up urban area can quickly get out of control and threaten a nearby facility. Internal fires may result from anything from carelessness to arson. Explosions and resulting fires may be caused by leaking gas lines or faulty heating systems.

Warning
Ensure that the alarm system is in good working order. In case of malfunction, an alternative signal should be available (cowbell, whistle, bull horn, etc).

Preparation
Staff members and children should be familiar with the location and operation of alarms and extinguishers. All equipment (including extinguishers, sprinkler systems, fire doors, etc.) should be regularly maintained in accordance with State and municipal ordinances
All staff should be thoroughly trained in the differences in the types of fires (electrical, oil, chemical, etc.) and the various materials and equipment available to combat each type of fire, including commonly available substances and materials (baking soda, sand, water soaked blankets, etc.) as well as how to use fire extinguishers and how long to spend attempting to put out a fire.
Response
When a fire is discovered, an alarm should be sounded immediately.
Evacuate the building immediately, using the building evacuation plan.
After occupants are safe, the fire department should be notified without delay.
Time permitting, the windows should be closed.

Adapted from the Day Care Facilities Emergency Planning Guide prepared by the Bureau of Plans, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and information from the FEMA website.