Child Passenger Safety

Checking Station for Child Passenger Safety Seats

The Carrboro Fire-Rescue Department is proud to be a permanent checking station for child passenger safety seats. This service is available to the entire Carrboro community and all other surrounding communities. We strongly encourage everyone to come by to have their child safety seat inspected for safety and correct installation.

Click here to schedule an appointment to have your car seat checked or installed.

Permanent Checking Station

*** The Carrboro Fire-Rescue Department will be temporarily suspending all car seat clinics in an effort to promote public health and safety. Time sensitive installs and checks will continue to be available by appointment. To make an appointment, please call (919) 918-7347 or email 

Demonstrating proper car seat use

However, we are available on all other days to perform safety checks, schedule and time permitting. If you would like to have your car seat installation checked on a particular day and time, feel free to contact us for an appointment at 919-918-7347 or 

Goals of the Program

The first and most important goal of the program is to have every child who arrives at our station leave safer than when he or she came. Thus every child safety seat check we complete strives for the following:

  • Ensure the child has an appropriate seat for their age, weight, size, and the vehicle they will be riding in
  • Educate the parents, guardians, and anyone who will be transporting the child regarding the best practices to follow when installing the seat in their car
  • Demonstrate the proper way to secure a child in the seat
  • Check for any manufacturer recalls, safety, or defect issues
  • Ensure compatibility between the car seat and the vehicle
  • Provide additional information on other agency's child safety programs

Installing a Child Safety Seat Is Not a Simple Task

CPS technician installing a seat Persons who go about the task of properly installing a car seat are often surprised to discover that the process is anything but straightforward. Our nationally certified technicians undergo 40 hours of training, and they must recertify every two years.

At a minimum, our firefighters must complete a 16 hour course before participating in a child safety seat check. Installing a car seat requires such extensive training because every car is different and every car seat is different. Thus, how one installs the same car seat in one vehicle may be quite different in another. Additionally, the type of seat appropriate for a child will change several times as the child grows and develops. All of these factors complicate the installation process, and thus a correct installation is achieved only when great care is taken.

Installing a child's car seat

Even with all the best intentions on the part of parents and caregivers, statistics have shown that more than 90% of the car seats brought into checking stations are installed incorrectly. A correct installation is of paramount importance because if a seat is not correctly installed, and the child is not correctly strapped into the seat, it will fail to provide the level of safety and protection it was designed to afford in the event of a wreck.

Obtaining a Car Seat from the Fire-Rescue Department

The Carrboro Fire-Rescue Department does have a limited number of child safety seats available for distribution under certain circumstances. The goal of the distribution program is to ensure that a child leaves safer than when they arrived. Additionally, persons of limited financial means, who are receiving financial assistance from the government, may be eligible for a seat at a reduced price. Similarly, if a person arrives with a defective or otherwise no longer safe child safety seat, they too may be eligible to purchase a car seat. In all cases, eligibility to purchase a seat will be based on the individual merits of the family situation and the safety of the child on a case by case basis.

Accepted forms of government assistance include Medicaid, Medicare, WIC, and Food Stamps. Other forms of government assistance will be considered on an individual basis. Proof of assistance is required upon receiving a seat.

Information & Resources

An excellent source of additional information is the North Carolina Child Passenger Safety Resource Center. At their web site there is a wealth of information pertaining to child safety seats, including information regarding North Carolina's seat belt and child safety seat laws.

Additional Web Resources: