Fire Safety Tips - Day Care Centers

Center Pigeon Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. P.O. Box 875, Canton, NC 28716    Tel: 828.648.0810



Fire Safety Tips - Day Care Centers

Our children are the future. The Center Pigeon Fire Department shares your concern about child safety! This section contains information to assist parents, families and caregivers in evaluating their day care options. Your decision on the right place for your child will take many factors into account. Most importantly, it will take their physical, emotional and personal development and well being into consideration.

Day Care Center

The Center Pigeon Fire Department wants to make it easy for you to add safety and emergency preparedness to your list.

Is the Center licensed?

All Family Day Care and Group Family Day Care Homes must be registered, approved, and licensed by North Carolina. This license must be displayed in a prominent place in the home. Ask to see the license. A valid North Carolina License contains the following:
a. The location of the home that may be used for Day Care.
b. The number and ages of the children approved for Day Care.
c. The effective and expiration dates of the license.
d. Any special services the facility may provide.
We encourage you to ask potential providers what they would do in the event of an emergency. An approved Emergency Action Plan must be prominently displayed. This plan will show the two required means of egress that the children will have to use during an emergency. Take time to review the plan.

Is the Center clean and safe? All Family & Group Family

Day Care Homes must have an approved Health Plan to care for children.
Fire Prevention in Day Care Facilites

The scope of this section covers the main Fire Protection requirements for:

1. Family Day Care Homes
2. Group Family Day Care Homes

Please take a moment to review the following Fire Safety requirements before placing your child in a Family Day Care Home, or a Group Family Day Care Home.

(A) FIRE DRILLS must be conducted monthly, and a record kept of each Fire Drill must be maintained. Ask the provider to see the records of such drills.

(B) OPERATING SMOKE DETECTORS must be present on every floor of the facility designated to be used as a Family Day Care Home, or Group Family Day Care Home. Inquire about them, and look to see that they are in good working order.

(C) MULTI-PURPOSE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS must be maintained and in good working order. Check to see if one is in place in the kitchen. A one or two family home requires an approved fire extinguisher in place outside the furnace room.

(D) EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLAN: Primary emphasis must be placed on the immediate evacuation of children. The approved emergency evacuation plan must describe the following:
(1) How children and adults will be made aware of an emergency;

(2) Primary and secondary evacuation routes;

(3) Methods of evacuation, including where children and adults will meet after evacuating the home, and how attendance will be taken; and

(4) Notification of authorities and the children's parents.
Spend some time reviewing the Emergency Evacuation Plan before there is a real emergency. Evaluate all of the primary and secondary "means of egress" noted in the Emergency Evacuation Plan. Take a walking tour of the Emergency Evacuation Plan.

Examine the required "means of egress" to determine if they both lead to a safe area outside the residence. Children develop at different stages. Some children may have special needs, and some may be challenged in various ways. What may work for one child, may not work for another.
Ask yourself, "Would my child be able to successfully carry out this evacuation plan in a real emergency?"
(E) CHILDREN CANNOT BE LEFT without competent supervision at any time. Children must be located on the same floor of the facility with a caregiver at all times. A caregiver must have direct visual contact with the children at all times except as follows:

(1) With the prior written permission of the parent, children may nap or sleep in a room where an awake adult is not present. When children are sleeping and during nap times, the doors to all rooms must be open; the caregiver must remain on the same floor as the children; and a functioning electronic monitor must be used in any room where children are sleeping or napping and an awake adult is not present.

(2) Children who are able to toilet independently may use a bathroom on another floor for a short period of time without direct adult supervision.


(3) With the written permission of the parents, providers may allow school-aged children to participate in activities outside of the direct supervision of a caregiver. Such activities must occur on the premises. A caregiver must physically check such children every 15 minutes.

(F) CHILDREN MUST NOT BE LOCATED above the second floor of a single family home or dwelling.

Any level in the home used for Family Day Care or Group Family Day Care must provide the following:

1. Two approved means of egress
2. They must be remote from one another

(G) APPROVED FACILITY LOCATIONS: Family Day Care and Group Family Day Care providers may have the day care facilities in their home in any one of the following locations:

1. Entirely on the First Floor
2. Primarily on First Floor, yet using Second Floor on a limited basis
3. Primarily on the Second Floor
4. Basement level