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Emergency Preparedness

Fire Safety Procedures and Drills

Written fire procedures approved by the local fire department must specify each staff member’s duties in case of fire.

Each staff member must be instructed on these duties before starting work.

Written fire procedures must be posted in a conspicuous place in each room.

A fire drill must be conducted at least once a month, except for school-based licensed programs serving kindergarten children and older (e.g. third party programs). Those programs must conduct a fire drill at least three times per school term. If the program operates during the summer, a fire drill must be conducted at least three times or once a month, whichever is less.

A place of emergency shelter must be designated in case the child care centre is evacuated.

Written records must be kept for all fire drills, and tests of the fire alarm system (e. g. smoke alarms and/or sprinkler systems) and all tests of fire protection equipment (e. g. fire extinguishers). Each record must be retained for at least 12 months from the date of the drill and test.

The exception is for child care centres located in a school, as the school will keep these records.

Wall with posted emergency evacuation instructions highlighted


Section 68 of Ontario Regulation 137/15 – General


Record of Fire Drills

Province of Ontario - Office of the Fire Marshall

Emergency Management

An “emergency” at a child care centre means an urgent or pressing situation in which immediate action is required to ensure the safety of children and adults in the child care centre.

Every licensee must ensure that each child care centre has written emergency management policies and procedures that:

  • Set out the roles and responsibilities of staff in case of an emergency.
  • Require that additional support be provided to any child or adult who needs it in case of an emergency, including any special medical needs.
  • Identify a safe and appropriate off-site meeting place, in case of evacuation.
  • Set out the procedures to ensure children’s safety and maintain appropriate levels of supervision.
  • Set out communication requirements with parents.
  • Set out requirements about contacting appropriate local emergency response agencies.
  • Address how to recover from an emergency, including:
    • Debriefing staff, children and parents.
    • Setting out how to continue normal operations of the child care centre.
    • Setting out how to support any children and staff distressed during the emergency.

A child care centre located in a school may use the school’s emergency management policies and procedures as long as those policies and procedures address the same points above. If all points are not addressed, the licensee must address them in a separate set of policies and procedures.


Sample Emergency Management Policy and Procedures

Emergency Management Policy and Procedures Template

Instructions and Tips for Creating Compliant Policies and Procedures: Emergency Management Policy and Procedures


Section 68.1 of Ontario Regulation 137/15 – General

Telephone emergency list 

An up-to-date list of emergency telephone numbers must be accessible and should be posted near each telephone, including:

  • emergency services
  • the nearest poison control centre;
  • a taxi service; and
  • home child care agency if relevant.

Child care entryway with list of telephone emergency numbers highlighted


Section 69 of Ontario Regulation 137/15 - General


List of Emergency Telephone Numbers