Many buildings have a fire alarm system that sounds an alarm throughout the building when it detects the beginning of a fire or its very first manifestations. Your day care centre should have a fire alarm system if one of the following applies:
- The building has more than three storeys, including the basement.
- More than 150 people are above or below the first floor.
- There are more than 40 people in the day care centre.
The fire alarm system must be inspected and tested at least once a year, or as soon as a defect or malfunction becomes apparent. Repairs must be performed by a specialized, independent company registered with the Régie du bâtiment du Québec. These companies can usually be found in the phone book under fire alarms, fire safety or fire protection.
What to do
As soon as a fire alarm goes off, day care staff must immediately evacuate all children to a predetermined safe area outside the building. Staff must then call 911 to alert emergency services.
The fire alarm should alert all occupants of the building. The fire alarm system can also be activated manually with a handle (red levers on the walls in the hallway). As soon as you see the beginning of a fire, you must immediately use the handle to activate the alarm. This will sound the alarm throughout the building.
It is prohibited for day care staff, building occupants and even managers to interrupt an alarm signal or reset a sounding alarm. Only firefighters can stop or reset the alarm system.