Millions of Children in Day Care Facilities

Every week in the United States, over 11 million children younger than age five are in some type of childcare arrangement. On average, these children spend 36 hours a week in childcare. It’s their second home, so it must be protected from all harm, which includes fires. No matter the number of children and sites, daycares must meet minimum safety requirements as mandated by the NFPA code and state laws . Among them, fire extinguishers are required for ALL daycares.

Here are some interesting facts from the U.S. Fire Administration:
• Fires in daycares and preschools are predominantly due to cooking (73 percent), followed by heating (six percent) and electrical malfunction (five percent).
• Seventy-five percent of fires are limited to the object of origin; 18 percent limited to the room of origin; just eight percent go beyond the room of origin.

Fire extinguishers are a basic fire safety tool, yet they go a long way to prevent greater loss if a fire does occur. Let’s put those stats into real-life scenarios: An extinguisher puts out a fire on a kitchen stove before it spreads beyond the stove and stops a fire from spreading beyond the kitchen.

Accessibility to a fire extinguisher is obviously key to limiting the scale of a fire. They should be mounted and located in conspicuous locations where they are immediately available for use. Safety codes require at least one portable fire extinguisher within 75 feet of occupied areas, plus in laundry rooms, boiler and furnace rooms, mechanical and electrical rooms, garages, kitchens, janitor closets, trash collection rooms, storage rooms and similar areas. It seems obvious, but you should never need to travel to another floor to get an extinguisher!

It All Starts with Online Training

Fire extinguisher requirements mean nothing if no one knows how to properly and effectively use one. Did you know that OSHA requires fire extinguisher training for all employees at least once a year? Yet, coordinating training annually for your entire workforce can be a difficult balancing act due to:
• New hires
• Staffing changes and promotions
• Changing employee roles
• Young people entering the work force for the first time
• Company expansion (new locations, new facilities)
• Multiple Locations.

Proper training needs to be more than a five-minute demonstration by a skilled (or heaven forbid an unskilled) trainer. Not everyone is mechanically minded so training needs to take a hospitable straightforward approach. Employers need to consider the number of people who need training, properly using group training time, and the expense of in-person training.

Life Safety — Made Simple:  Online Academy Coming Soon

If it sounds like coordinating in-person onsite affordable, effective and consistent training across all locations and roles is difficult, if not impossible, that’s because it is. The solution is online training. Brothers Fire & Security offers a new online academy, “Life Safety Made Simple,” which makes it makes it easy and convenient to ensure that every member of your staff knows how to use fire extinguishers. “How to Effectively Use Fire Extinguishers” saves money and stress and can take place whenever your workforce changes. You can incorporate the training into onboarding processes and promotions and when new facilities open. The online course meets OSHA compliance requirements for all staff without travel expenses, which lowers training costs and increases successful compliance.

If you’re wondering if an online course is as comprehensive and effective as onsite training, I can answer with a resounding YES. Your employees will learn:
• Different types of fires and what extinguishers to use
• The correct way to use different types of fire extinguishers
• The Fire Triangle, how it works and what to do
• Firefighting concepts of R.A.C.E (Rescue, Alarm, Confine, Extinguish) and P.A.S.S. (Pull the pin, Aim at base of fire, Squeeze handle, and Sweep side to side)
• Life-saving steps to take when there’s a fire

At the end of the course, each attendee who successfully passes the interactive testing will receive a Certificate of Completion.

To ensure the safety of your staff, children and property, I encourage daycares of all sizes and facilities to consider “How to Effectively Use Fire Extinguishers.” Knowing how to use this first line of defense in fire safety could save lives.


As one of the premier providers of fire and security solutions in the Upper Midwest, Brothers Fire & Security strives to build long-term, value-added relationships. We work with business owners and property management companies, as well as all types of public institutions to solve fire and security needs. By taking advantage of our integrated bundled services, many of our clients find that they can save 25-30% on their safety services, annual inspections and more. From a single location to franchises throughout the region and the country, our integrated approach saves our clients valuable time, money and stress. We provide fire protection systems, security systems, fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, 24-7 monitoring, fire extinguishers, card access and kitchen hoods. And coming soon, our new Online Academy: Life Safety — Made Simple with eLearning courses designed to help you get and keep your staff trained and your business fire and security code compliant.