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Old 07-31-2010, 04:39 AM
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Exclamation Fire Alarm System Not Functioning @ Daycare

After a monthly fire drill at my child's daycare, the siren malfunctioned and would not stop blaring. The children had to be kept outside because it was too loud inside. When I picked my child up at the end of the day, I was told that the center may not be open tomorrow if it could not be fixed, and that I should call by 6am the next morning to find out status. When I called, they said everything was fine and they were open, so I dropped my child off. At 3:30 in the afternoon, an email memo was sent to all parents of children at the center from my company's HR dept (note: this is a company sponsored daycare center). The email informed parents that due to the issues the day before, the fire alarm system was not functioning properly - that the lights and siren were not working, but that the heat sensors and sprinklers were OK. The local fire dept had been contacted, and a security guard had been placed on "fire watch". I am frustrated. I feel that parents should have been notified before dropping children off. I know that there is a 1 in a million chance that something would ever happen, but the reason you have a fire alarm in the first place is for that 1 in a million. I want to know if it is legal to (1) not have a functioning fire alarm system or (2) not inform parents of the safety issue BEFORE drop-off. I read through the KY licensing guidelines, but did not find this specified anywhere.
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:25 PM
jen jen is offline
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Contact your licensing agency and report the problem.

I must say that I personally feel that they did everything that they could to ensure the safety of the children. However, if you don't feel it is safe, then you should absolutely pull your child.
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:41 AM
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Michael Michael is offline
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Child Care Licensing Agency
Kentucky Office of Inspector General
Cabinet for Health and Family Services
Division of Regulated Child Care
275 East Main Street
Frankfort, KY 40621
Phone: (502) 564-7962
Fax: (502) 564-9350
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:51 AM
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melskids melskids is offline
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they may not have realized until later in the day that it was not working 100%...
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:30 PM
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Default Do not be overlyconcerned

Dear Mam,

As a licensed Fire Alarm Technician with over 15 years of experience I can honestly say not to be overly concerned that one aspect of the installed system is not functioning 100%. The problem could be as simple as one manual pull station that has malfunctioned and is not reseting to a normal condition.

If the property is sprinkled and in good working order, then you don't have anything to worry about. It is a little known fact that since Grinnell invented the automatic sprinkler back in the 1860's NO ONE has ever passed away in a fully sprinkled building due to fire.

As for the fire watch, that tells me the daycare did contact their Fire Alarm service company who went out to the property and was unable to correct the problem for whatever reason at that time, and then had to report to the Authority having Jurisdiction (ie. the Fire Marshall). The Fire Marshall then went out to the property to determine the nature of the problem and decide whether or not the business could stay open. If you were able to drop off your child, then the Fire Marshall decided to allow the business to stay open with the constant presence of a "Fire Watch". A Fire Watch is a person or persons who are tasked with watching for a fire while the business is open. In the state of Louisiana you can operate for 10 days in this way to give the Fire Alarm Co time to effect a repair, usually all repairs are made in 1 to 2 business days especially at a small property like a daycare.

So to answer your questions, yes it is legal for the daycare to operate with a Fire Watch, and no I would not be overly concerned, it sounds like your daycare is operating by building code requirements.


Jeff Anderson
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fire alarm, parent communication, safety

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