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Deaths of 5 Erie children prompt day care fire safety effort

The Associated Press
Firefighters, from left, John Fatter, Mike Hodak, Scott Taylor and Rick Swaney, of Engine Co. 11, salute as the funeral procession for La'Myhia Jones, 8; Luther Jones Jr., 6; Ava Jones, 4; and Jaydan Augustyniak, 9 months, passes the intersection of West 8th Street and Bayfront Parkway, en route to the Erie, Pa., Cemetery following a funeral ceremony at the Bayfront Convention Center on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. The children died, along with 2-year-old Dalvin Pacley, when a fire broke out at the Harris Family Daycare at 1248 W. 11th St. shortly after 1 a.m. on Aug. 11. The crew from Engine Co. 11 was first on the scene the night of the fatal fire. (Jack Hanrahan/Erie Times-News via AP)

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania regulators are acting to increase safety at child care facilities, about a month after five children died in a fire at an Erie day care center.

The Human Services Department said Thursday its Office of Child Development and Early Learning will perform fire safety checks during inspections, starting next week.

Child care facilities will have to show they have smoke detectors on every floor and fire extinguishers in kitchens.

More:Police: Pennsylvania day care center fire kills 5 children

The agency is reviewing its fire safety policies and looking for ways to improve them.

The state is also surveying family child care providers about fire prevention and evacuation plans for children in overnight care.

Five children ages 7 and younger died in the Aug. 11 fire at the 24-hour Harris Family Daycare.