Safety Tips for Group and Family Child Care Providers

How to Operate a Fire Extinguisher – the P.A.S.S Technique

Most fire extinguishers operate using the following P.A.S.S. technique:

P is for Pull the extinguisher’s safety pin;
A is for Aim the extinguisher at the source of the flames;
S is for Squeeze the trigger and hold it; and
S is for Sweep the source of the flames until the fire is extinguished.

If the fire re-ignites, repeat steps 2 through 4. If you have the slightest doubt about your ability to fight the fire, evacuate immediately.

Emergency Phone Numbers, First Aid Kits and “GO Bags”

Do you have a list of local emergency contact numbers for the fire and police departments, poison control and ambulance service posted by each phone? Do you have a portable and a stationed first aid kit with the necessary supplies? Are the kits out of the reach of the children?

Do you have an emergency GO Bag? You should have two GO Bags, one by each exit. Items in the bag should include:

  • Medical consent form for each child
  • Phone numbers for parents
  • First-aid kit
  • Diapers

Safety Inspections

Wood- or coal-burning stoves, chimneys, fireplaces and permanently installed gas space heaters in use at the home must be inspected and approved by local authorities. Portable electric heaters or other portable heating devices may not be used in rooms accessible to children. Trash, garbage and combustible materials must not be stored in the furnace room or in rooms or outdoor areas adjacent to the home that are occupied by or accessible to children. If there is not a room for refuse separate from the furnace room, you must not store trash, garbage and combustible materials within four feet of the furnace.

Also, annual or periodic inspections should be conducted to ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.

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