Fire is potentially the most damaging and disruptive event that any business has to face. Over 75% of businesses that experience a serious fire go out of business, either directly as a result of the fire, or within 3 years of opening
Early Years Managers
Effective Childcare fire safety has always relied upon responsible and competent managers to achieve and maintain safety from fire in their establishments. Childcare staff and mangers should undergo training in fire safety and have an understanding of the planned evacuation process. Once any evacuations are complete, careful thought should also be given to keeping children safe, and comfortable. This includes providing advice to the emergency services.
Fire Safety Risk Assessment
Life safety fire risk assessments of childcare premises are required to comply with fire safety law and regulations. Licensing and registration of nurseries and children’s daycare centres also requires that a competent fire safety risk assessment has been carried out.
It is a fact that many fire safety risk assessments can be less than specific regarding the measures required for effectively managing childcare fire safety.
A fire safety risk assessment carried out by Fire Risk Design involves a systematic process that evaluates the factors that determine the hazards from fire, the likelihood that there will be a fire and the consequences if one were to occur using qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
Developing a Fire Safety Risk Management Strategy
There is a required management commitment to childcare fire safety that extends beyond the legal requirement for fire safety risk assessment. This requires Early Years Managers to have clearly defined childcare fire safety policies.
Developing and implementing a pragmatic childcare fire safety management strategy, is a tried and tested approach to achieving successful change in processes and systems, that result in better childcare fire safety outcomes.
To assist Early Years Managers, Fire Risk Design has developed an approach to childcare fire safety management that is similar to the PDSA cycle (Plan, Do, Study, Act). Following a programme of fire safety risk assessments in a range of establishments we found that, standards of fire safety risk assessment and the management of childcare fire safety fell below minimum benchmark standards.
As a result of this Fire Risk Design has used the PDSA model as a template to develop methodologies for fire safety risk assessment and fire safety management in childcare establishments that can lead to improvement in standards of childcare fire safety.
We appreciate that fire safety is not the key business driver in childcare organisations, because of this we have applied the PDSA model in a manner that makes the management of childcare fire safety simpler for Early Years Managers to understand and implement within their premises. Our methodology enables centre managers to consecutively build up their childcare fire safety knowledge and then use this to implement it into their daily work.