Many of us still remember practicing fire drills either at elementary school or daycare when we were younger. The drill is still entrenched in our minds, and we remember what to do if there ever was a fire. It is important for children to practice fire drills so that in times of panic they know exactly how to exit the building safely and quickly. There are a few guidelines to follow when practicing fire drills with children at a home daycare facility.
Forewarn the children that a fire drill is about to happen to ease their worries. Engage the alarm and tell them that this means there is a fire drill when they hear it. If there is not an alarm, ring a bell or make a specific noise to signal a fire drill.
Explain to the children that when they hear the fire alarm or noise, they quickly get up and leave everything behind. Point out all the exits to the children beforehand in case they are separated from the group.
Grab the attendance list on the way out. Tell the children to follow their daycare provider outside to the quickest exit and file in line behind the adult in pairs of two. Have a specific spot the children should meet outside when there is a fire drill and explain to them that they have to go to this place.
Shut the door behind you after you are sure everyone has exited. Make a quick head count to ensure everyone has made it out safely.
Practice the fire drill routinely so the children know exactly what to do in the case of an actual fire.
- If the children are worried about a fire drill or are uncooperative, try making it into a game. Still explain the importance of the drill, but most children are willing to participate in a game and it may help get their minds off the scariness and thought of a possible fire.
- Practice the escape plan until all the children know it completely.
- Ask the children questions after the drill to make sure they understand it.
- If there are young children unable to walk, you will have to grab them first in a fire drill and make sure they get out.