Rules and Regulations

The Fire Safety Inspection Unit follows the promulgated rules and the applicable sections of NFPA 101, 2000 Edition to conduct fire safety inspections of these facilities. Complete inspections include examining the kitchen hood and extinguishing system, fire extinguishers, separation between levels and sections of buildings, sprinkler systems, alarm systems, and general housekeeping and building conditions. The issues most commonly found that require correction include electrical equipment issues, fire alarm deficiencies, and exit and/or exit passageway issues.

Before a long-term care facility—either assisted living or residential care—can obtain a license, it must submit an application to the Department of Health and Senior Services, Long Term Care Licensing Division. A set of plans for the facility must then be submitted to DHSS for approval. Once submitted, the plans for the facility will be reviewed by the DHSS Engineering Division and an initial DHSS inspection will be completed. These facilities are then inspected on an annual basis by the Fire Safety Inspection Unit. Once licensed, any changes to these facilities must be applied for through DHSS, an inspection by the Fire Safety Inspection Unit will then be conducted to verify compliance with the fire safety requirements of the rules.

Effective Jan. 1, 2013, facilities housing more than 20 residents must be equipped with an NFPA 13 Automatic Fire Sprinkler System, a complete fire alarm system, and other critical components before they will be approved through an inspection.