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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>How to conduct a fire drill & lock down drill
Unregistered 08:52 AM 12-07-2012
How do I conduct, teach fire drills to young children? and how do you do lock downs?
Do I actually get the kids to go outside during the procedure?
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Cat Herder 10:03 AM 12-07-2012
To conduct a fire drill you literally set off the fire alarm (by pressing the test button), line up your kids and go outdoors. This is a timed drill. Be sure to have your go folder ready and in a place that is easy accessible for grabbing on the way out.

You practice this by doing it at least once a month, at varying times of the day.

For infants you put them into a rescue crib and roll them outdoors with your group. The goal should be 2 minutes or less.

Lock down is simply moving everyone away from doors and windows and sheltering in place until you get an all clear.

You practice by covering windows, locking doors and using whisper voices.
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Country Kids 10:11 AM 12-07-2012
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
To conduct a fire drill you literally set off the fire alarm (by pressing the test button), line up your kids and go outdoors. This is a timed drill. Be sure to have your go folder ready and in a place that is easy accessible for grabbing on the way out.

You practice this by doing it at least once a month, at varying times of the day.


For infants you put them into a rescue crib and roll them outdoors with your group. The goal should be 2 minutes or less.

Lock down is simply moving everyone away from doors and windows and sheltering in place until you get an all clear.

You practice by covering windows, locking doors and using whisper voices.
What do you mean by covering windows. Where we are (schoolroom) I haven o curtains. I hang them up everyday for nap so not really safe if we are going into lockdown mode.

Now the one room we have that has curtains is off limits to childcare (not approved to have children in there). Same with other bedrooms but they don't have curtains (windows up very, very high).

So how would I do something like this in a lockdown? Very curious because I have always wondered this.


Also, have any of you done a fire drill/lockdown drill during naptime?
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Cat Herder 10:15 AM 12-07-2012
I'd guess each provider would have to find a plan that works for their particular set-up.

In public schools they move them to rooms/hallways without windows.

I drop down and close my blinds.

The goal is to make the kids and adults a less visible target in the event of the unimaginable.

Edit: I have never done my drill during naptime out of self preservation, but my plan for one that was less than willing to wake up is to plop them into a rescue crib as well.
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Country Kids 10:19 AM 12-07-2012
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
I'd guess each provider would have to find a plan that works for their particular set-up.

In public schools they move them to rooms/hallways without windows.

I drop down and close my blinds.

The goal is to make the kids and adults a less visible target in the event of the unimaginable.
I'm thinking our hallway would be perfect!!!! Didn't even think about that-

I actually have a curtain that covers the door to it and we could shut all the doors to the other rooms. Perfect and we could still use the bathroom if necessary.

The only thing that scares me is getting to the livingroom to shut the curtains/lock the door. You can see right into my livingroom so you would see what we are doing.

Also, how do you know when to go into lockdown? Does 911 call you or something?
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Cat Herder 10:20 AM 12-07-2012
Yes, Public Safety will notify you in most cases.

Obviously, If you are the first to witness something you would self lockdown THEN dial 911.
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itlw8 10:25 AM 12-07-2012
My childcare is in the basement my lockdown room is at the top of the steps. as we have a walk out basement the window is off the ground.

I could have chosen the area where we shelter for tornados but I would feel trapped if someone did enter our house. I want a way out.

We have not practiced lockdown yet but do fire monthly and tornado and earthquake every 3 months.
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Country Kids 10:26 AM 12-07-2012
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
Yes, Public Safety will notify you in most cases.

Obviously, If you are the first to witness something you would self lockdown THEN dial 911.
Thank you Cat Herder!!!!
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Unregistered 10:29 AM 12-07-2012
Thank You. I have a better understanding. I guess for lock down i can gather the kids to the hallway for more coverage.
Does sitting down with the kids and explaining to them about fire safety count towards fire drills?
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Cat Herder 10:34 AM 12-07-2012
Originally Posted by Country Kids:
Thank you Cat Herder!!!!
Absolutely

These are the scary parts of child care. It is in these moments that we truly know the gravity of what we do for a living.
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Cat Herder 10:43 AM 12-07-2012
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Thank You. I have a better understanding. I guess for lock down i can gather the kids to the hallway for more coverage.
Does sitting down with the kids and explaining to them about fire safety count towards fire drills?
I am not sure what you mean by "count"?

I can tell you that sometimes telling them too much can backfire. It is better with the young ones to simply "practice" even if it is an actual fire. They will follow your lead, if you are scared, they will be, too (and possibly hide ). If you look calm and organized, they will follow you.

I'd go over "stop drop and roll", not hiding from firefighters (we are terrifying in full gear with a respirator to kids, letting them know what we may sound like helps so much ), and basic fire safety.

As for lockdowns, I don't really tell them there may be someone outside who wants to hurt them... I just say the police sometime tell us to hide while they do their job so it is good to practice just in case.
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Unregistered 11:44 AM 12-07-2012
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
I am not sure what you mean by "count"?

I can tell you that sometimes telling them too much can backfire. It is better with the young ones to simply "practice" even if it is an actual fire. They will follow your lead, if you are scared, they will be, too (and possibly hide ). If you look calm and organized, they will follow you.

I'd go over "stop drop and roll", not hiding from firefighters (we are terrifying in full gear with a respirator to kids, letting them know what we may sound like helps so much ), and basic fire safety.

As for lockdowns, I don't really tell them there may be someone outside who wants to hurt them... I just say the police sometime tell us to hide while they do their job so it is good to practice just in case.
Thanks, what i meant about "count" is about the fire drill form/document that you fill out after you practice the drill, i was wandering if you count the part when you explain to the kids what to do if there is a fire and such.
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Cat Herder 12:26 PM 12-07-2012
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Thanks, what i meant about "count" is about the fire drill form/document that you fill out after you practice the drill, i was wandering if you count the part when you explain to the kids what to do if there is a fire and such.
Oh, ok. I'd guess each State has different requirements for that. Here that is covered under the curriculum "umbrella", not safety.

My fire drill form only states date, time, how many were in attendance and the amount of time it took to complete the evacuation and attendance check in its entirety.

The other questions relate to checking the fire extinguisher expiration date and that pressure line is in the green zone, recording that the alarm actually sounded when I pushed the test button on the fire alarm and that the batteries were checked/changed in each smoke detector in my home.
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