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Child Care Fire and Health Safety

Fire and Health Safety (Licensing)

Fire and Health Safety Inspectors provide fire, health and sanitation inspections and technical assistance to child care providers, as required for them to be licensed, registered, or approved by DSS. These inspection services are performed in concert with the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Department of Health and Environmental Control, and in conjunction with local jurisdictions. DSS does not charge for this service.

Click here to go to Fire & Health Safety Forms.

Fire & Health Safety Mission Statement

The mission of the Fire and Health Safety Office is to help child care providers create a fire-safe and healthy environment for children in South Carolina, by providing quality customer services, educating providers, and conducting thorough and comprehensive fire plan examinations and fire, health, and sanitation inspections.

About the Fire & Health Safety Office

In accordance with SC State Laws, Regulations and Codes, Child Care Licensing is responsible for regulating child care facilities; that process includes Fire and Health Safety Inspections. This service is not intended to replace required local jurisdiction inspections, but is provided in conjunction with the local inspections.

Child Care licensing inspections are typically conducted before a new facility is licensed, when a provider is making changes to their existing facility, and when providers are being re-licensed by DSS. Fire and Health Safety inspectors are trained by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, which also mediates any policies or disputes that may arise regarding child care inspections.

On November 1, 2008, DSS implemented a centralized inspection service in coordination with the State Fire Marshal’s Office. The goal of this project was to improve the efficiency, timeliness, and consistency of fire inspections provided to child care providers seeking licensure from DSS; it has been extremely successful. In accordance with the SC Fire Sprinkler Law, the State Fire Marshal Office reviews fire sprinkler plans.

Because child care providers found this centralized process to be so effective, DSS and DHEC have been working together to move the health and sanitation inspections to DSS effective July 1, 2013. This will eliminate the need for 2 inspectors; the DSS Fire and Health Safety inspector will perform both functions. This will further streamline the licensure process and eliminate the $60 fee currently paid by child care providers to DHEC.

Each county has a DSS Fire and Health Safety Inspector, and this information may be found on the Child Care Fire Inspection Map.

Fire Plan Examinations for child care facilities are required to be submitted to: SC DSS Child Care Licensing, Fire & Health Safety, ATTN: Plan Examination, 2638 Two Notch Rd. Suite 217, Columbia, SC 29204.

Both the Department of Social Services and the Office of State Fire Marshal are confident that this new process will save providers and staff an inordinate amount of time in mediating problems and in ensuring that all inspections are scheduled and completed in a timely manner. This will make our processes for licensing/re-licensing much easier and is a very positive step toward streamlining the process for issuing licenses.

Click here for the SC State Fire Marshal letter (dated July 15, 2008).

Want to know more about your Fire Inspection Report? Click here