The time it takes to evacuate early-childhood centres in multi-storey buildings has been highlighted as a concern in a new Fire Service report
The report - completed by building research group Branz - said fire drills were currently in practice did not give a realistic idea of what a real evacuation would be like.
Branz found between 50 and 80 centres throughout the country were situated above the ground floor, and that figure was expected to grow in coming years.
The report expressed concern about how quickly such centres could be evacuated, and has recommended no early-childhood centre be located higher than the fourth floor of a multi-storey building.
It also recommended lower staff-to-child ratios in such centres, and said all staff should be able and willing to carry children from the building if needed.