fire safety

Investigation Unveils 1,100 Fire Safety Violations

  September 13, 2021

By Dave Lubach

Child care facilities across Pennsylvania are under scrutiny after a media report revealed more than 200 smoke detector violations over the past 19 months.

PennLive found 229 violations through analysis of state inspection records. The inspections that were analyzed took place between Sept. 16, 2019, and April 20, 2021. The investigation reviewed almost 17,000 child care inspections. From those inspections, more than 1,100 fire safety infractions were discovered.

More than 20 percent of the infractions were faulty smoke detectors. Another violation included not having interconnected systems, as required by state law. By having interconnected systems, all smoke detectors will go off if only one is activated.

Other violations included:

  • Lack of testing documentation

  • Failure to conduct monthly fire drills

  • Failure to post evacuation routes

  • Unserviced fire extinguishers

One official was concerned about the total number of violations, 1,106, in the span of 19 months.

“We tend to look at the people who are caring for our kids and we’ve gotten smarter and better about really helping parents think through the questions about the people,” says Cathleen Palm,  founder and executive director of the Center for Children’s Justice in the state. “But are we doing enough to really help people think about the structure and environment the children are in?”

Dave Lubach is Managing Editor, Facility Market. 



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